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Gene. 2012 Aug 15;505(1):153-66. doi: 10.1016/j.gene.2012.04.084. Epub 2012 Jun 1.

Molecular cloning of novel alternatively spliced variants of BCL2L12, a new member of the BCL2 gene family, and their expression analysis in cancer cells.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Biology, University of Athens, Athens, Greece.


In the past, we identified and cloned the BCL2-like 12 (BCL2L12) gene, a novel member of the BCL2 family, which is implicated in various malignancies. The classical BCL2L12 protein isoform contains a highly conserved BH2 domain, a BH3-like motif, and a proline-rich region, and is involved in apoptosis. Most members of this apoptosis-related family are subjected to alternative splicing, thus generating multiple protein isoforms with distinct properties, and sometimes even with opposite function (pro- vs. anti-apoptotic). In the current study, we report the identification, molecular cloning, and expression pattern of novel splice variants of the human BCL2L12 gene in cancer cell lines. EST clones displaying high sequence identity (≥90%) with the classical BCL2L12 transcript were aligned, in order to identify those containing at least one novel splice junction. EST database mining led to the identification of three previously unknown splice variants of this apoptotic gene. In our effort to experimentally validate these novel transcripts, we also cloned seven more, previously unidentified, BCL2L12 alternatively spliced variants. Expression analysis of all BCL2L12 splice variants in human cancer cell lines and embryonic kidney cells revealed remarkable differences between their BCL2L12 expression profiles. Interestingly, 7 out of 10 novel splice variants of BCL2L12 are predicted to encode new protein isoforms, some of which are BH3-only proteins, in contrast to the classical BCL2L12 isoform, which also contains a functional BH2 domain. The remaining three novel splice variants of BCL2L12 are nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) candidates.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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