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Exp Cell Res. 2005 Sep 10;309(1):86-98.

Ankyrin-G in skeletal muscle: tissue-specific alternative splicing contributes to the complexity of the sarcolemmal cytoskeleton.

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Institut Jacques Monod/CNRS/Universit├ęs Paris VI et VII; 2 Place Jussieu, F-75251 Paris cedex 05, France.


Ankyrins are versatile adaptor proteins that join the spectrin-based cytoskeleton to transmembrane proteins, and have roles in organizing the microstructure of cell membranes. Molecular diversity of ankyrins in mammals arises from extensive alternative splicing of the products of three genes. There has been no systematic analysis of the diversity of expression of ankyrins-G, the widely expressed Ank3 gene products, in a complex tissue. We previously described Ank(G107), the first muscle-specific ankyrin-G. Here, we combined cDNA and database analyses to gain novel insight into the ankyrins-G of skeletal muscle. We find: (i) that Ank3 is composed of at least 53 exons, many of which are subject to tissue-specific splicing; (ii) five novel full-length cDNAs encoding two canonical (Ank(G197), Ank(G217)) and three small isoforms (Ank(G109), Ank(G128), Ank(G130)) bring to six the number of ankyrins-G expressed in skeletal muscle; (iii) a 76-residue insert in the C-terminal domain is a 'signature' for muscle ankyrins; (iv) variably spliced sequences of 17/18 and 195 residues increase diversity in the C-terminal domains. Comparison of endogenous ankyrins-G with in vitro translated cDNAs revealed that small ankyrins account for the majority of the immunoreactivity for ankyrin-G in soleus muscle. The small ankyrins, when expressed in vivo in the rat muscle, are all targeted to sarcolemmal costameres. Our results demonstrate the tissue-dependent alternative splicing of Ank3 in skeletal muscle and point to novel functions of small ankyrins-G in organizing microdomains of the plasma membrane.

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