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Cell. 1985 Dec;43(3 Pt 2):721-7.

Alternative splicing accounts for the four forms of myelin basic protein.


We have isolated cDNA clones encoding the four different forms of mouse myelin basic protein (MBP) and have analyzed the structure of the MBP gene. The three larger forms of MBP differ from the smallest by the inclusion of either or both of two short amino acid sequences at positions 57 and 124 of the smallest protein. The mouse genome contains a single MBP gene comprised of seven exons. The two amino acid sequences present only in the larger MBPs are encoded by separate exons. Furthermore, all exons in the coding region begin or end in complete codons so that alternative splicing does not alter the reading frame. We conclude that the four forms of this myelin protein are encoded in separate mRNAs, each derived by a simple alternative splicing of the primary MBP gene transcript. Comparison of the amino acid sequence encoded by each exon with a recent model of the secondary structure of MBP suggests that each of the seven exons encodes one or two of the predicted structural motifs of the protein.

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