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Mol Cell Biol. 1993 Aug; 13(8): 4986–4998.
PMCID: PMC360144

Alpha 2-chimerin, an SH2-containing GTPase-activating protein for the ras-related protein p21rac derived by alternate splicing of the human n-chimerin gene, is selectively expressed in brain regions and testes.


n-Chimerin (alpha 1-chimerin) is a brain GTPase-activating protein (GAP) for the ras-related p21rac. We now report the occurrence of another form of chimerin, termed alpha 2-chimerin. This is the product of an alternately spliced transcript of the human n-chimerin gene encoding an N-terminal SH2 (src homology 2) domain in addition to the phorbol ester receptor and GAP domains. alpha 1- and alpha 2-chimerin mRNAs were expressed differently. In the rat brain, only alpha 1-chimerin mRNA was expressed in cerebellar Purkinje cells, although both alpha 1- and alpha 2-chimerin mRNAs occurred in neurons in the cerebral cortex, hippocampus, and thalamus. Only alpha 2-chimerin RNA was expressed in rat testes, in early pachytene spermatocytes. A 45-kDa SH2-containing chimerin corresponding to the alpha 2 form was purified from rat brain. As with Escherichia coli 45-kDa recombinant alpha 2-chimerin, purified brain alpha 2-chimerin exhibited racGAP activity which was stimulated by phosphatidylserine. The recombinant SH2 domain bound several 32P-labelled phosphoproteins of PC12 cells, whose phosphorylation increased in response to trophic factors, including nerve growth factor. To examine the relationships of alpha 1- and alpha 2-chimerin transcripts, human genomic DNA clones were characterized. In alpha 2-chimerin mRNA, a 3' splice acceptor site within exon 1 of alpha 1-chimerin mRNA was used, replacing its 5' untranslated region and N-terminal coding sequence. The single human n-chimerin gene was mapped to chromosome 2q31-q32.1, colocalizing with the CRE-BP1 transcription factor gene (2q32). It contained several splice junctions conserved with the sequence-related protein kinase C and bcr genes. alpha 2-Chimerin is only the second SH2-containing GAP and the first example of an SH2 domain generated by alternate splicing.

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