Gene Expression, Cell Localization, and Evolution of Rodent Submandibular Gland Androgen-Binding Protein

J. K. Wickliffe, V. H. Lee, E. Smith, B. Tandler, C. J. Phillips

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


A small dimeric androgen-binding protein (Abp) secreted by mouse (Mus) submandibular salivary glands has been hypothesized to function in mate-selection. The alpha-subunit (Abpa) evolves rapidly under natural selection. However, cellular site(s) of synthesis, mode of function, and patterns of evolution of this biologically important protein are otherwise unknown. We used a radiolabeled riboprobe and in situ hybridization to mouse (Mus) Abpa mRNA to localize Abpa synthesis to submandibular gland acinar cells. We next used a quantitative fluorescent thermal cycler (real-time PCR) to determine relative expression levels (normalized with a constitutively expressed ribosomal gene [S15/rig; rat insulinoma gene]) in male, female, and sexually immature European striped field mice (Apodemus agrarius). We hypothesized that gender or age-related differences might occur in production of a salivary protein related to sexual selection, but found no significant differences within our sample. Finally, we also used reverse transcription-PCR of mRNAs isolated from submandibular salivary glands to determine the Abpa allele in the striped wood mouse and compare it to published information on the homologue in Mus musculus domesticus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-260
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Journal of Morphology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2002


  • Abpa
  • Androgen-binding protein
  • Apodemus
  • Mus
  • Protein evolution
  • Salivary glands
  • Sexual selection
  • Striped field mouse
  • Submandibular gland


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