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Physiol Genomics. 2002;9(3):157-66. Epub 2002 Apr 16.

Complexity and species variation of the kidney-type glutaminase gene.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado 80523-1870, USA.


Increased expression of rat kidney-type glutaminase (KGA) during metabolic acidosis results from selective mRNA stabilization. This process is mediated by an 8-base AU-sequence that functions as a pH-response element (pHRE). LLC-PK1-FBPase+ cells, a pH-responsive porcine kidney cell line, express four distinct GA mRNAs. RNase H mapping indicated that three of the GA mRNAs are generated by use of alternative polyadenylation sites and are homologs of the rat KGA mRNA, while the fourth contains a different COOH-terminal coding and 3'-untranslated sequence. PCR cloning and sequencing established that the latter GA mRNA is the homolog of the human GAC mRNA. A rat GAC cDNA was also cloned from a rat kidney library. The 3'-untranslated regions of the GAC mRNAs, but not the porcine or human KGA mRNAs, contain identifiable pHREs. The human KGA gene spans 82 kb and is composed of 19 exons. The unique sequence from the hGAC cDNA is contained in a single exon. Thus in humans, alternative splicing of the initial transcript could produce two GA mRNAs, only one of which may be increased during acidosis.

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