Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Mol Cell Biol. 1986 Jul;6(7):2409-19.

Six mouse alpha-tubulin mRNAs encode five distinct isotypes: testis-specific expression of two sister genes.


Five mouse alpha-tubulin isotypes are described, each distinguished by the presence of unique amino acid substitutions within the coding region. Most, though not all of these isotype-specific amino acids, are clustered at the carboxy terminus. One of the alpha-tubulin isotypes described is expressed exclusively in testis and is encoded by two closely related genes (M alpha 3 and M alpha 7) which have homologous 3' untranslated regions but which differ at multiple third codon positions and in their 5' untranslated regions. We show that a subfamily of alpha-tubulin genes encoding the same testis-specific isotype also exists in humans. Thus, we conclude that the duplication event leading to a pair of genes encoding a testis-specific alpha-tubulin isotype predated the mammalian radiation, and both members of the duplicated sequence have been maintained since species divergence. A second alpha-tubulin gene, M alpha 6, is expressed ubiquitously at a low level, whereas a third gene, M alpha 4, is unique in that it does not encode a carboxy-terminal tyrosine residue. This gene yields two transcripts: a 1.8-kilobase (kb) mRNA that is abundant in muscle and a 2.4-kb mRNA that is abundant in testis. Whereas the 1.8-kb mRNA encodes a distinct alpha-tubulin isotype, the 2.4-kb mRNA is defective in that the methionine residue required for translational initiation is missing. Patterns of developmental expression of the various alpha-tubulin isotypes are presented. Our data support the view that individual tubulin isotypes are capable of conferring functional specificity on different kinds of microtubules.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk