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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1991 Jun 15;88(12):5335-9.

The secretin gene: evolutionary history, alternative splicing, and developmental regulation.

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Division of Gastroenterology, New England Medical Center, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA 02111.


The gene encoding the hormone secretin has been isolated and structurally characterized. The transcriptional unit is divided into four exons spanning 813 nucleotides. Comparison of the rat secretin gene to the other members of the glucagon-secretin gene family reveals that similarities are restricted to the exons encoding the biologically active peptides. Analysis of RNA from porcine intestine indicates that at least two transcripts are generated from the porcine secretin gene as a result of differential splicing. The longer and more abundant transcript appears to be identical to a previously isolated cDNA, which encodes a precursor that includes a 72-amino acid C-terminal extension peptide. The shorter transcript does not contain the third exon and, as a result, encodes only 44 residues beyond the C terminus of secretin. The amino acid sequence deduced from the shorter transcript is identical to a precursor form of secretin recently isolated from porcine duodenum [Gafvelin, G., Jornvall, H. & Mutt, V. (1990) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 87, 6781-6785]. Developmental studies reveal that both secretin mRNA and peptide levels in the intestine are highest just before birth, prior to the onset of gastric acid secretion and feeding. This observation implies that secretin biosynthesis in developing animals is controlled independently of the principal factors known to regulate secretin release in adult animals.

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