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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Gene expression in cells of the central nervous system.

This review summarized a part of our studies over a long period of time, relating them to the literature on the same topics. We aimed our research toward an understanding of the genetic origin of brain specific proteins, identified by B. W. Moore and of the high complexity of the nucleotide sequence of brain mRNA, originally investigated by W. E. Hahn, but have not completely achieved the projected goal. According to our studies, the reason for the high complexity in the RNA of brain nuclei might be the high complexity in neuronal nuclear RNA as described in the Introduction. Although one possible explanation is that it results from the summation of RNA complexities of several neuronal types, our saturation hybridization study with RNA from the isolated nuclei of granule cells showed an equally high sequence complexity as that of brain. It is likely that this type of neuron also contains numerous rare proteins and peptides, perhaps as many as 20,000 species which were not detectable even by two-dimensional PAGE. I was possible to gain insight into the reasons for the high sequence complexity of brain RNA by cloning the cDNA and genomic DNA of the brain-specific proteins as described in the previous sections. These data provided evidence for the long 3'-noncoding regions in the cDNA of the brain-specific proteins which caused the mRNA of brain to be larger than that from other tissues. During isolation of such large mRNAs, a molecule might be split into a 3'-poly(A)+RNA and 5'-poly(A)-RNA. In the studies on genomic DNA, genes with multiple transcription initiation sites were found in brain, such as CCK, CNP and MAG, in addition to NSE which was a housekeeping gene, and this may contribute to the high sequence complexity of brain RNA. Our studies also indicated the presence of genes with alternative splicing in brain, such as those for CNP, MAG and NGF, suggesting a further basis for greater RNA nucleotide sequence complexity. It is noteworthy that alternative splicing of the genes for MBP and PLP also produced multiple mRNAs. Such a mechanism may be a general characteristic of the genes for the myelin-specific proteins produced by oligodendrocytes. In considering the high nucleotide sequence complexity, it is interesting that MAG and S-100 beta genes etc. possess two additional sites for poly(A).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)[1]


  1. Gene expression in cells of the central nervous system. Takahashi, Y. Prog. Neurobiol. (1992) [Pubmed]
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