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Gene. 2000 Feb 8;243(1-2):151-60.

Molecular cloning, characterization and expression of a novel retinal clusterin-like protein cDNA.

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James A. Baker Institute, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA.


A novel gene expressed predominantly in retina, but detected at a conspicuously lower level in retina of canine progressive rod cone degeneration (prcd), has been identified by suppression subtractive hybridization and retinal cDNA library screening. The characterized region of cDNA of the novel gene includes 1017 nucleotides of coding sequence predicted to encode a protein of 338 amino acids (M(r) 39389), 791 nucleotides of 5'-untranslated region (UTR), and 300 nucleotides of 3'-UTR including the poly(A)(+) tail. Multiple transcripts were detected in retina by Northern blot analysis, and a lower level of expression was observed in brain and liver by RT-PCR. The transcript appears to be developmentally regulated with a burst in gene expression at a time period (34 postnatal days) that coincides with the photoreceptor differentiation phase of retinal development. The deduced amino acid sequence from the cDNA of the novel gene has 24% identity and 48% similarity with the multifunctional glycoprotein clusterin. Hence, the putative gene product from the novel transcript has been named clusterin-like protein 1 (CLUL1). The human homologue of CLUL1 cDNA has 84 and 70% identity at the level of nucleotides and amino acids, respectively, with the characterized canine cDNA. The presence of a stretch of 128 amino acids in the putative human CLUL1, not detected in canine CLUL1, suggests alternate splicing events. An STS database search revealed that the human homologue of CLUL1 maps to chromosome 18p, a location not yet reported to harbor an RP locus. Tissue-specific expression of CLUL1 in retina, and its lower abundance in different forms of PRA suggest that this novel gene may represent an as-yet unidentified locus for a retinal disorder.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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