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PLoS One. 2013;8(2):e57807. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0057807. Epub 2013 Feb 25.

Comparative analysis of the expression profile of Wnk1 and Wnk1/Hsn2 splice variants in developing and adult mouse tissues.

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Center of Excellence in Neuroscience of the Université de Montréal-CENUM, Centre de Recherche du Centre Hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal-CRCHUM, University of Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.


The With No lysine (K) family of serine/threonine kinase (WNK) defines a small family of kinases with significant roles in ion homeostasis. WNK1 has been shown to have different isoforms due to what seems to be largely tissue specific splicing. Here, we used two distinct in situ hybridization riboprobes on developing and adult mouse tissues to make a comparative analysis of Wnk1 and its sensory associated splice isoform, Wnk1/Hsn2. The hybridization signals in developing mouse tissues, which were prepared at embryonic day e10.5 and e12.5, revealed a homogenous expression profile with both probes. At e15.5 and in the newborn mouse, the two probes revealed different expression profiles with prominent signals in nervous system tissues and also other tissues such as kidney, thymus and testis. In adult mouse tissues, the two expression profiles appeared even more restricted to the nervous tissues, kidney, thymus and testis, with no detectable signal in the other tissues. Throughout the nervous system, sensory tissues, as well as in Cornu Ammonis 1 (CA1), CA2 and CA3 areas of the hippocampus, were strongly labeled with both probes. Hybridization signals were also strongly detected in Schwann and supporting satellite cells. Our results show that the expression profiles of Wnk1 isoforms change during the development, and that the expression of the Wnk1 splice variant containing the Hsn2 exon is prominent during developing and in adult mouse tissues, suggesting its important role in the development and maintenance of the nervous system.

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