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Gene. 2007 Jan 31;387(1-2):38-48. Epub 2006 Aug 30.

Identification of novel splice variants of Adhesion G protein-coupled receptors.

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Department of Neuroscience, Uppsala University, BMC, Box 593, 751 24, Uppsala, Sweden.


Alternative splicing is an important mechanism to generate proteome diversity in higher eukaryotic organisms. We searched for splice variants of the human Adhesion family of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) using mRNA sequences and expressed sequence tags. The results presented here describe 53 human splice variants among the 33 Adhesion GPCRs. Many of these variants appear to be coding for "functional" proteins (29) while the others are seemingly "non-functional" (24). Novel functional splice variants were found for: CD97, CELR3, EMR2, EMR3, GPR56, GPR110, GPR112-GPR114, GPR116, GPR123-GPR126, GPR133, HE6, and LEC1-LEC3. Splice variants for GPR116, GPR125, GPR126, and HE6 were found conserved in other species. Several of the functional splice variants lack one or more of the functional domains that are found in the N-termini of these receptors. These functional domains are likely to affect ligand binding or interaction with other proteins and these novel splice variants may have important roles for the specificity of interactions between these receptors and extracellular molecules. Another type of splice variants found here lacks a GPCR proteolytic site (GPS). The GPS domain has been shown to be essential for the proteolytic cleavage of the receptors N-termini and for cellular surface expression. We suggest that these alternative splice variants may be crucial for the function of the receptors while the seemingly non-functional splice variants may be a part of a regulative mechanism.

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