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Neuron. 1994 Oct;13(4):1003-15.

The spastic mouse: aberrant splicing of glycine receptor beta subunit mRNA caused by intronic insertion of L1 element.

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  • 1Zentrum für Molekulare Biologie, Universität Heidelberg, Federal Republic of Germany.


Mice homozygous for the spastic mutation (spa) suffer from a complex motor disorder resulting from reduced CNS levels of the adult glycine receptor isoform GlyRA, which is composed of ligand-binding alpha 1 and structural beta polypeptides. The beta subunit-encoding gene (Glyrb) was mapped near the spa locus on mouse chromosome 3. In spa/spa mice, aberrant splicing of the beta subunit pre-mRNA strikingly diminishes the CNS contents of full-length transcripts, whereas truncated beta subunit mRNAs accumulate. This is a result of exon skipping, which causes translational frameshifts and premature stop codons. Intron 5 of the spa Glyrb gene contains an L1 transposable element that apparently is causal for the aberrant splicing of beta subunit transcripts.

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