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Gene. 2005 Oct 10;359:99-110.

Analysis of full length ADAMTS6 transcript reveals alternative splicing and a role for the 5' untranslated region in translational control.

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  • 1School of Clinical Medical Sciences (Gerontology), Henry Wellcome Laboratory for Biogerontology Research, Newcastle General Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK NE4 6BE.


The ADAMTS (A Disintegrin and metalloproteinase with thrombospondin-1 type repeats) family of enzymes have been implicated in turnover of extracellular matrix. We previously showed that levels of ADAMTS6 mRNA in ARPE-19 cells were markedly increased following treatment with tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha). This study shows that the ADAMTS6 transcript contains unusually large untranslated regions (UTRs) at both the 5' and 3'end. The 5'UTR contains 11 AUG codons upstream of the predicted ADAMTS6 start codon and potently inhibits translation of a downstream reporter gene. However some translation can be restored by truncating the 5'UTR from the 5'end. The 5'UTR was tested for internal ribosome entry site activity using a bicistronic luciferase reporter plasmid, but none was detected. Using the 5' and 3'UTR sequences to screen the GenBank database we identified a full length ADAMTS6 cDNA of 7262 bp. This transcript is alternatively spliced at the 3'end of the open reading frame (ORF), resulting in an extended ORF containing 3 additional tsp-1 type repeats. Quantitative RT-PCR showed that the long and short form of the ADAMTS6 ORF are co-expressed in ARPE-19 cells, but the relative levels of the two forms is modulated by TNFalpha. The region of the transcript encoding the catalytic domain also contains several notable differences compared to the previously published ADAMTS6 cDNA sequence, including a redefinition of the predicted active site motif.

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