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J Mol Cell Cardiol. 2008 Dec;45(6):724-34. doi: 10.1016/j.yjmcc.2008.08.005. Epub 2008 Aug 27.

Exon organization and novel alternative splicing of the human ANK2 gene: implications for cardiac function and human cardiac disease.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA.


Recent findings illustrate a critical role for ankyrin-B function in normal cardiovascular physiology. Specifically, decreased expression of ankyrin-B in mice or human mutations in the ankyrin-B gene (ANK2) results in potentially fatal cardiac arrhythmias. Despite the clear role of ankyrin-B in heart, the mechanisms underlying transcriptional regulation of ANK2 are unknown. In fact, to date there is no description of ANK2 genomic organization. The aims of this study were to provide a comprehensive description of the ANK2 gene and to evaluate the relative expression of alternative splicing events associated with ANK2 transcription in heart. Using reverse-transcriptase PCR on mRNA isolated from human hearts, we identify seven new exons associated with the ANK2 gene including an alternative first exon located approximately 145 kb upstream of the previously-identified first exon. In addition, we identify over thirty alternative splicing events associated with ANK2 mRNA transcripts. Using real-time PCR and exon boundary-spanning primers to selectively amplify these splice variants, we demonstrate that these variants are expressed at varying levels in human heart. Finally, ankyrin-B immunoblot analysis demonstrates the expression of a heterogeneous population of ankyrin-B polypeptides in heart. ANK2 consists of 53 exons that span approximately 560 kb on human chromosome 4. Additionally, our data demonstrates that ANK2 is subject to complex transcriptional regulation that likely results in differential ankyrin-B polypeptide function.

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