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Cell. 1987 Sep 11;50(6):831-40.

A novel form of tissue-specific RNA processing produces apolipoprotein-B48 in intestine.


Evidence suggests that intestinal apo-B48 is colinear with the amino-terminal half of hepatic apo-B100. To investigate the mechanism of apo-B48 production, we examined cDNA clones from human and rabbit small intestine. All clones contained a single C----T base difference from the hepatic sequence, resulting in a translational stop at codon 2153. Amplification by the polymerase chain reaction of cDNA from human and rabbit small intestine, rabbit liver, and the human hepatoma cell line HepG2 showed that the stop codon was only present in intestinal mRNA. Enterocyte genomic DNA did not contain the stop codon. We suggest that a co- or posttranscriptional C----U change may result in the production of apo-B48, which represents the amino-terminal 2152 amino acids of apo-B100. This is the first example of tissue-specific modification of a single mRNA nucleotide resulting in two different proteins from the same primary transcript.

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