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Genomics. 2001 Dec;78(3):223-9.

RGSZ1 and Ret RGS: two of several splice variants from the gene RGS20.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, 5323 Harry Hines Blvd., Dallas, Texas 75390-9041, USA.


RGSZ1 and Ret RGS, members of the regulator of G-protein signaling (RGS) family, are GTPase-activating proteins (GAPs) with high selectivity for G alpha(z). We show here that RGSZ1 and Ret RGSZ1 are products of two of several splice variants of one gene, RGS20. RGS20 spans approximately 107 kb and contains at least seven exons. Five exons account for RGSZ1, including a single exon distinct to RGSZ1 that encodes a newly identified amino-terminal region. The previously described open reading frame (ORF) and 3' untranslated region are encoded by four downstream exons that also encode about half of Ret RGS. The 5' end of the RGSZ1 ORF contains several in-frame ATG codons (3-5 depending on the species), and multiple translational start sites may help explain the molecular weight heterogeneity of purified bovine brain RGSZ. Ret RGS replaces the 24 N-terminal amino acid residues of RGSZ1 with a large, N-terminal region that initially distinguished the bovine Ret RGS from human and mouse RGSZ1. This N-terminal domain is encoded by two distinct 5' exons that are variably combined with the four downstream exons shared with RGSZ1 to produce at least six mRNAs. They encode proteins with N termini that vary in size, hydrophobicity, and the presence of a cysteine string. At least two mRNAs that include the exon that encodes the N-terminal region unique to RGSZ1 were found in brain and a few other tissues, but not retina. RGS20 thus can account for multiple G(z)-selective GAPs in different tissues.

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