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

The chicken retinoid-X-receptor-gamma gene gives rise to two distinct species of mRNA with different patterns of expression.

Retinoids are metabolites of vitamin A that can regulate gene expression in a range of embryonic and adult cell types. They do this by binding to nuclear receptors belonging to the steroid/thyroid hormone receptor superfamily of ligand-activated transcription factors. Vertebrates possess two classes of nuclear retinoid-receptor genes, each with three members. These are the RAR-alpha, RAR-beta and RAR-gamma genes and the RXR-alpha, RXR-beta and RXR-gamma genes. In this paper we show by cDNA cloning and ribonuclease protection that the chicken RXR-gamma gene gives rise to two mRNA species (RXR-gamma 1 and RXR-gamma 2) that differ at their 5' ends. The two mRNAs have different tissue distributions in the 10-day-old chick embryo. RXR-gamma 2 mRNA was present in the eye and dorsal root ganglia but was undetectable in the liver. In contrast, RXR-gamma 1 mRNA was present in liver, was undetectable in dorsal root ganglia and was just detectable in the eye, where it was much less abundant than RXR-gamma 2 mRNA. The predicted protein products of the RXR-gamma 1 and RXR-gamma 2 mRNAs differ at their N-termini, in a region thought to modulate transcriptional transactivation by the receptor. These results show that at least one of the retinoid-X-receptor (RXR) genes gives rise to more than one protein product, a principle previously established for the retinoic acid-receptor (RAR) genes. The existence of multiple RXR protein isoforms would increase the range of heterodimers formed between RXRs and other nuclear receptors, including RARs and the receptors for thyroid hormone, vitamin D and peroxisome proliferators. This could increase the diversity of transcriptional responses mediated by these molecules.[1]


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