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

Different forms of Go alpha mRNA arise by alternative splicing of transcripts from a single gene on human chromosome 16.

Go alpha, (gene symbol GNA01), a member of the signal-transducing guanine nucleotide-binding (G) protein family, has been implicated in ion channel regulation. Some tissues contain multiple Go alpha mRNAs of different sizes that differ in the 3' untranslated regions (UTRs). Using sequence-specific 48-base oligonucleotides, two complementary to the different 3' UTRs and one complementary to the coding region, we investigated the origin of the multiple Go alpha transcripts, the organization of the Go alpha gene, the interspecies conservation of 3' UTRs, and the chromosomal localization of Go alpha. Oligonucleotides labeled to high specific activity by using terminal deoxynucleotidyltransferase each hybridized with a single band of restriction enzyme-digested mouse and human DNAs. In three of four digests of human DNA, the two probes specific for the different 3' UTRs hybridized with the same restriction fragment. Thus, these nucleotide sequences are in close proximity in the human genome. The order of the UTRs in the bovine, human, and mouse genomes was confirmed directly by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification and sequencing. Hybridization of bovine oligonucleotide sequence with mouse and human genomic DNA indicated a high degree of interspecies sequence conservation: conservation was confirmed by PCR amplification and sequencing. Bands detected by both UTR probes, as well as the predominant bands detected by a bovine Go alpha cDNA, segregated with human chromosome 16 on Southern blot analysis of human-mouse somatic cell hybrids. We conclude that Go alpha mRNAs with different 3' UTRs arise by alternative splicing of transcripts from a single gene. The UTRs, which exhibit a high degree of interspecies conservation, may play a role in regulation of Go alpha expression during differentiation or in specific tissues. The use of oligonucleotide probes of the type described here represents a new strategy, potentially widely applicable for mapping and elucidating structural features of genes.[1]


  1. Different forms of Go alpha mRNA arise by alternative splicing of transcripts from a single gene on human chromosome 16. Murtagh, J.J., Eddy, R., Shows, T.B., Moss, J., Vaughan, M. Mol. Cell. Biol. (1991) [Pubmed]
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