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J Mol Neurosci. 2001 Aug;17(1):59-70.

A novel isoform of beta-spectrin II localizes to cerebellar Purkinje-cell bodies and interacts with neurofibromatosis type 2 gene product schwannomin.

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  • 1Department of Physiology, Georgetown University, Washington, DC 20016, USA.


We report the identification of a full-length novel beta-spectrin II gene (betaSpIIsigma2) in human brain. The betaSpIIsigma2 gene has 32 exons encoding an actin-binding domain, followed by 17-spectrin repeats, and a short COOH-terminal regulatory region that lacks the Pleckstrin homology (PH) domain. Pair-wise sequence analysis showed an additional 36 and 28 amino acids located at the NH2 and COOH-terminal regions of betaSpIIsigma2, respectively. Northern-blot analysis showed an abundant expression of betaSpIIsigma2 transcripts in brain, lung, and kidney. Western-blot analysis confirmed the predicted approximately 225 kD molecular size of betaSpIIsigma2 protein in these same tissues. In brain, immunofluorescent staining revealed that betaSpIIsigma2 was enriched in cerebellar neurons, with specific enrichment in Purkinje cell bodies, but not in dendrites. Of considerable interest, neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2) gene product schwannomin was found to co-immunoprecipitate with betaSpIIsigma2 in cultured Purkinje cells. These results suggest that betaSpIIsigma2 may play an important role in the assembly of the specialized plasma membrane domain of Purkinje neurons and that schwannomin may be involved in actin-cytoskeleton organization by interacting with betaSpIIsigma2.

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