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J Biol Chem. 2000 Dec 15;275(50):39543-54.

Aspartyl beta -hydroxylase (Asph) and an evolutionarily conserved isoform of Asph missing the catalytic domain share exons with junctin.

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  • 1Department of Applied Biotechnology, DuPont Pharmaceuticals Research Laboratories, DuPont Pharmaceuticals Company, Experimental Station, Wilmington, Delaware 19880, USA.


The mouse aspartyl beta-hydroxylase gene (Asph, BAH) has been cloned and characterized. The mouse BAH gene spans 200 kilobase pairs of genomic DNA and contains 24 exons. Of three major BAH-related transcripts, the two largest (6,629 and 4,419 base pairs) encode full-length protein and differ only in the use of alternative polyadenylation signals. The smallest BAH-related transcript (2,789 base pairs) uses an alternative 3' terminal exon, resulting in a protein lacking a catalytic domain. Evolutionary conservation of this noncatalytic isoform of BAH (humbug) is demonstrated in mouse, man, and Drosophila. Monoclonal antibody reagents were generated, epitope-mapped, and used to definitively correlate RNA bands on Northern blots with protein species on Western blots. The gene for mouse junctin, a calsequestrin-binding protein, was cloned and characterized and shown to be encoded from the same locus. When expressed in heart tissue, BAH/humbug preferably use the first exon and often the fourth exon of junctin while preserving the reading frame. Thus, three individual genes share common exons and open reading frames and use separate promoters to achieve differential expression, splicing, and function in a variety of tissues. This unusual form of exon sharing suggests that the functions of junctin, BAH, and humbug may be linked.

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