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J Biol Chem. 1992 Sep 15;267(26):18715-22.

Characterization of human brain cDNA encoding the general isoform of beta-spectrin.

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  • 1Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27710.


The complete primary structure of the general form of human beta-spectrin (beta G) has been deduced from cDNAs isolated from human brain. beta G-Spectrin is encoded by a gene located on human chromosome 2. beta G-Spectrin and erythrocyte beta-spectrin (beta R) share identical domain organization, with sequence identity of 60% and sequence similarity of 77%. beta-Spectrins have closely related N-terminal domains implicated in binding to actin, and 17 copies of a 106-residue repeat motif with consensus residues that are highly conserved between beta-spectrins as well as alpha-spectrins. C-terminal domains of beta G and the 270-kDa beta R-spectrins are candidate regions to associate with alpha-spectrin, and exhibit 75% similarity. beta G- and beta R-spectrins exhibit different patterns of expression in tissues and follow different developmental programs in those tissues where they are co-expressed. beta G-Spectrin is present in all tissues examined except for erythrocytes, while beta R-spectrin could be detected only in erythrocytes, brain, and heart. beta G- and beta R-Spectrins are both expressed in brain, but beta R appeared later in post-natal development and was highly enriched in cerebellum in contrast to the broad regional distribution of beta G-spectrin. beta-Spectrins are likely to perform related but distinct functions, with beta G in a general, constitutive role and beta R-spectrin involved in more specialized activities of differentiated cells.

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