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Gene. 2011 Aug 1;481(2):65-75. doi: 10.1016/j.gene.2011.04.010. Epub 2011 Apr 29.

Human sphingomyelin synthase 1 gene (SMS1): organization, multiple mRNA splice variants and expression in adult tissues.

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Department of Human Molecular Genetics, Institute of Molecular Genetics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia.


We have previously characterized the structure of the human MOB gene (TMEM23), which encodes a hypothetical transmembrane protein (Vladychenskaya et al., 2002, 2004). The primary structure of the peptide that we predicted coincided completely with the amino acid sequence of the later identified sphingomyelin synthase 1 protein (SMS1), which catalyses the transfer of a phosphorylcholine moiety from phosphatidylcholine to ceramide, producing sphingomyelin and diacylglycerol (Huitema et al., 2004; Yamaoka et al., 2004). The gene we found was the SMS1 gene. The combination of in silico and RT-PCR data helped us identify and characterize numerous new transcripts of the human SMS1 gene. We identified mRNA isoforms that vary in the 5'-untranslated region (UTR) and encode the full-length protein, and transcripts resulting from alternative combinations of the exons in the coding region of the gene and the 3'-UTR. Comparison of the discovered transcripts' structures with the sequence of human chromosome 10 showed that the human SMS1 gene comprises at least 24 exons. RT-PCR and real-time PCR data showed that the expression patterns of the alternative SMS1 transcripts are tissue specific. Our results indicate that the regulation of SMS1 expression is complex and occurs at the transcriptional, post-transcriptional and translational levels.

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