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Brain Res Mol Brain Res. 1993 Jul;19(1-2):101-14.

Molecular cloning of a developmentally regulated brain protein, chicken drebrin A and its expression by alternative splicing of the drebrin gene.

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  • 1Laboratory of Neurochemistry, National Institute for Physiological Sciences, Okazaki, Japan.


Drebrins are developmentally regulated proteins found in the chicken brain and are classified into three forms, E1, E2 and A. Previously we isolated two cDNAs corresponding to the embryonic drebrin mRNAs from a chick embryo cDNA library. They differed in that an internal 129-nucleotide sequence, designated ins1, was inserted in the cDNA encoding drebrin E2 and was deleted in the other cDNA encoding drebrin E1. To search for the cDNA clone encoding drebrin A, a cDNA library of 1-day-old chick brains was screened using embryonic drebrin cDNA fragments as probes. Consequently, a novel cDNA was isolated, the sequence of which was entirely identical with that of drebrin E2 except for the insertion of a 138-nucleotide sequence, designated ins2, in the 5' direction immediately upstream from ins1. Since the translation product of the entire coding region was similar to that of drebrin A, this cDNA should correspond to the mRNA for drebrin A. Sequencing analysis of three drebrin cDNAs clearly indicated that the heterogeneity of chicken drebrins was caused by the insertion or deletion of the two sequences, ins1 and ins2. The amino-terminal half region including ins2 and two short sequences in the carboxyl-terminal region of the predicted drebrin A were highly evolutionarily conserved. Cloning and sequencing of the drebrin gene revealed that ins1 and ins2 were independently encoded by separate exons and three drebrin isoforms were thought to arise by alternative splicing from a single drebrin gene. The difference in the time course of expression and tissue distribution of each drebrin suggests that the machinery of alternative splicing site selection of the drebrin gene is regulated in a developmental stage-dependent and tissue-specific manner.

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