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J Plant Physiol. 2008 Nov 28;165(17):1774-82. doi: 10.1016/j.jplph.2007.12.003. Epub 2008 Feb 20.

Alternative splicing of the rice OsMET1 genes encoding maintenance DNA methyltransferase.

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National Institute for Basic Biology, Myodaiji, Okazaki 444-8585, Japan.


While the Arabidopsis genome carries one copy of the methyltransferase 1 (MET1) gene for DNA methyltransferase, which is mainly responsible for maintaining CpG methylation, the rice genome bears two copies of the MET1 genes, OsMET1a and OsMET1b. The transcripts of OsMET1b accumulate more abundantly than those of OsMET1a in all of the tissues examined, and both genes actively transcribed at the callus, imbibed embryo, root, meristem, young panicle, anther, pistil, and endosperm, all of which contain actively dividing cells. The OsMET1a transcripts contain two 5'-untranslated exons and alternatively spliced 3'-terminal exons. The alternatively spliced transcripts consist of 14, 15, or 16 exons, and all of them encode a putative protein of 1527 amino acids. While the 3'-terminal exon of OsMET1b is unique, alternative splicing occurs in the 5'-terminal regions, which comprise either exons containing 5'-untranslated regions or an exon bearing the initiation codon. Depending upon alternative usage of 5' exons by alternative splicing, the OsMET1b transcripts comprise 11, 12, 13, or 14 exons, and the former two and the latter two longer transcripts encode putative proteins of 1486 and 1529 amino acids, respectively. Moreover, the 5' splicing patterns of OsMET1b can vary in different tissues. These findings are discussed with respect to the possible regulation of the OsMET1 genes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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