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EMBO J. 1987 Sep;6(9):2573-80.

Multiple sites of alternative splicing of the rat fibronectin gene transcript.

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  • 1Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge 02139.


We describe analyses of the structure and expression of the rat fibronectin gene with particular attention to the 40-kb stretch from the center of the gene which encodes 17 type-III repeating units. Each repeat is precisely separated from its neighbors by introns and most are encoded by pairs of exons. Three repeats are encoded precisely by single exons and two of these (EIIIA and EIIIB) are alternatively spliced in a cell type-specific fashion. A third site of alternative splicing (EIIIB) reported here is similar in expression to the previously described EIIIA segment. Both are excluded from mRNA in liver cells and are, therefore, absent from plasma fibronectin. These two alternative splices, plus a third one (V) reported previously, can occur in all possible combinations giving 12 fibronectin mRNAs from a single gene. These splicing variations account for most but not all of the known fibronectin subunit variants. We report investigations designed to detect other regions of alternative splicing. We also show that the pattern of alternative splicing is somewhat altered on oncogenic transformation.

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