Send to

Choose Destination
Biochim Biophys Acta. 2005 May 25;1755(1):1-14. Epub 2005 Mar 10.

A survey of alternative transcripts of human tissue kallikrein genes.

Author information

Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, University of Toronto, 600 University Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5G 1L5.


Alternative splicing is prevalent within the human tissue kallikrein gene locus. Aside from being the most important source of protein diversity in eukaryotes, this process plays a significant role in development, physiology and disease. A better understanding of alternative splicing could lead to the use of gene variants as drug targets, therapeutic agents or diagnostic markers. With the rapidly rising number of alternative kallikrein transcripts, classifying new transcripts and piecing together the significance of existing data are becoming increasingly challenging. In this review, we present a systematic analysis of all currently known kallikrein alternative transcripts. By defining a reference form for each of the 15 kallikrein genes (KLK1 to KLK15), we were able to classify alternative splicing patterns. We identified 82 different kallikrein gene transcript forms, including reference forms. Alternative splicing may lead to the synthesis of 56 different protein forms for KLK1-15. In the kallikrein locus, the majority of alternative splicing events occur within the protein-coding region, and to a lesser extent in the 5' untranslated regions (UTRs). The most common alternative splicing event is exon skipping (35%) and the least common events are cryptic exons (3%) and internal exon deletion (3%). Seventy-six percent of kallikrein splice variants that are predicted to encode truncated proteins are the result of frameshifts. Eighty-nine percent of putative proteins encoded by splice variants are predicted to be secreted. Although several reports describe the identification of kallikrein splice variants and their potential clinical utility, this is the first extensive review on this subject. Accumulating evidence suggests that alternative kallikrein forms could be involved in many pathologic conditions or could have practical applications as biomarkers. The organization and analysis of the kallikrein transcripts will facilitate future work in this area and may lead to novel clinical and diagnostic applications.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center