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Gene. 1995 Apr 3;155(2):179-84.

Characterization and quantification of full-length and truncated Na,K-ATPase alpha 1 and beta 1 RNA transcripts expressed in human retinal pigment epithelium.

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  • 1Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles 90024, USA.


We have characterized cDNA clones encoding the alpha 1 and beta 1 subunits of Na,K-ATPase produced in the human retinal pigment epithelium (hRPE). In addition to isolating clones corresponding to known sequences of Na,K-ATPase subunits, we report hitherto unknown forms of Na,K-ATPase with unique deduced amino acid (aa) sequences in their C-termini. Truncated cDNA sequences were found for both the beta 1 and alpha 1 subunits. While the beta 1 sequence is truncated by two aa residues at the C terminus, in the alpha 1 sequence 342 aa have been replaced by a unique sequence containing only 44 aa. Interestingly, this new C-terminal polypeptide shows sequence similarities to the Ca(2+)-ATPase and contains consensus sequence elements for phosphorylation and cell adhesion, suggesting expression of Na,K-ATPase subunits with unique functions. Using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, RNA sequences for alpha 1, beta 1 and their corresponding truncated isoforms were quantified. 4.0 x 10(5) alpha 1 and 2.3 x 10(5) beta 1 molecules were found per ng of mRNA from hRPE. Much lower levels were detected for truncated alpha 1 and beta 1 (3.6 x 10(3) and 2.7 x 10(3) molecules/ng, respectively). These data corroborate the expression of truncated transcripts coding for unique aa sequences in hRPE, and suggest that factors other than alpha 1 and beta 1 mRNA levels regulate the equimolar accumulation of alpha and beta subunits in the plasma membrane.

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