Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Biol Chem. 1991 Dec 5;266(34):23083-90.

Gene structure of mammalian acetylcholinesterase. Alternative exons dictate tissue-specific expression.

Author information

Department of Pharmacology, University of California, La Jolla 92093.


The genes encoding mouse and human acetylcholinesterases have been cloned from genomic and cosmid libraries. Restriction analysis and a comparison of sequence with the cDNAs have defined the exon-intron boundaries. In mammals, three invariant exons encode the signal peptide and the amino-terminal 535 amino acids common to all forms of the enzyme whereas alternative exon usage of the next exon accounts for the structural divergence in the carboxyl termini of the catalytic subunits. mRNA protection studies show that the cDNA encoding the hydrophilic catalytic subunits represents the dominant mRNA species in mammalian brain and muscle whereas divergent mRNA species are evident in cells of hematopoietic origin (bone marrow cells and a erythroleukemia cell line). Analyses of mRNA species in these cells and the genomic sequence have enabled us to define two alternative exons in addition to the one found in the cDNAs; they encode unique carboxyl-terminal sequences. One mRNA consists of a direct extension through the intervening sequence between the common exon and the 3' exon deduced from the cDNA. This sequence encodes a subunit lacking the cysteine critical to oligomer formation. Another mRNA results from a splice that encodes a stretch of hydrophobic amino acids immediately upstream of a stop codon. This exon, when spliced to the upstream invariant exons, should encode glycophospholipid-linked species of the enzyme. Homologous sequence, identity of exon-intron junctions, and identity of position of the stop codon are seen for this region in mouse and human. Polymerase chain reactions carried out across the expected intron region and mRNA protection studies show that this splice occurs in mouse bone marrow and erythroleukemia cells yielding the appropriate cDNA.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons


    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Support Center