The glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) is expressed in a cell-specific manner and represents the major subunit of intermediate filaments of astroglial cells. The knowledge of the gene structure is an important step for further understanding the mechanisms of cell-specific expression. In the present study, we report the complete sequence of the rat GFAP gene and provide evidence for the existence, in the rat brain, of a novel alternative transcript. Since three different transcripts, indicated as GFAP alpha, beta, and gamma, have been previously reported (Feinstein et al,  J. Neurosci. Res. 32:1-14; Zelenika et al.  Mol. Brain Res. 30:251-258), we called this novel mRNA isoform GFAP delta. It is generated by the alternative splicing of a novel exon located in the classic seventh intron. This alternative exon (called VII+) contains a 101-bp coding sequence in frame with exon VII and interrupted by a stop codon TAA at position +5451. Therefore, the novel GFAP delta transcript encodes for an hypothetical GFAP where the forty-two carboxyterminal amino acids encoded by exon VIII and IX are replaced by thirty-three amino acids encoded by exon VII+. Northern blot analysis with a specific probe for exon VII+ revealed a 4.2-kb mRNA, expressed in several brain areas, but absent in extracerebral tissues (lung, heart, kidney, liver, spleen). The previously discovered GFAP isoforms (alpha, beta, and gamma) produce hypothetical translation products differing in the aminoterminal Head domain. The present data suggest, for the first time, the possible existence of GFAP isoforms differing in the carboxy-terminal Tail domain. J. Neurosci. Res. 56:219-228, 1999. (C) 1999 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
|Titolo:||Structural features of the rat GFAP gene and identification of a novel alternative transcript|
|Data di pubblicazione:||1999|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|