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Nucleic Acids Res. Jan 25, 1991; 19(2): 297–301.
PMCID: PMC333593

A single nucleotide polymorphism in an exon dictates allele dependent differential splicing of episialin mRNA.


The episialin gene (MUC1) encodes an epithelial mucin containing a variable number of repeats with a length of twenty amino acids, resulting in many different alleles that can be subdivided into two size classes. The episialin pre-mRNA uses either one of two neighbouring splice acceptor sites for exon 2, which mainly encodes the repeats. Using the genetic polymorphism of the episialin gene to identify different alleles, we show here that the splice site recognition is allele dependent and is based on a single A/G nucleotide difference in exon 2 eight nucleotides downstream of the second splice acceptor site. Transfection experiments confirm that this polymorphic nucleotide regulates the splice site selection. The identity of this nucleotide is in most cases correlated with one of the size classes of the alleles, indicating that mutations altering the number of repeats seldom arise by unequal cross-over between the repeat regions.

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Selected References

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