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Nucleic Acids Res. 1994 Mar 11;22(5):842-9.

Alternative splicing of the guanine nucleotide-binding regulatory protein Go alpha generates four distinct mRNAs.

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  • 1Laboratory of Cellular Metabolism, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892.


Go alpha a guanine nucleotide-binding (G) protein abundant in brain and other neural tissues, has been implicated in ion channel regulation. Concerted efforts in several laboratories have revealed multiple Go alpha mRNAs and protein isoforms in different contexts. Go alpha is a single copy gene in mammalian species, although the structure, number and tissue localization of Go alpha mRNAs reported by investigators are inconsistent. To define the cell-specific expression of alternatively spliced variants of Go alpha mRNA, we employed several strategies, including Northern hybridizations with sequences-specific oligonucleotides, selective digestions of Go alpha mRNA using RNase H, and adaptations of the polymerase chain reaction. Four distinct alternatively spliced variants were identified, a 5.7-kb Go alpha 2 mRNA and three Go alpha 1 mRNAs with different 3' UTRs. The UTRs of the three Go alpha 1s are composed of different combinations of what have been referred to as UTR-A and UTR-B. The sequences of the spliced segments are well conserved among mammalian species, suggesting a functional role for these alternatively spliced 3' UTRs in post-transcriptional and/or tissue-specific regulation of Go alpha expression. The position of the intron-exon splice boundary at nucleotide 31 following T of the TGA stop codon is conserved in the Gi alpha 2 and Gi alpha 3 genes, consistent with the notion that similar alternative splicing of 3' UTRs occurs in products of these related genes.

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