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Cell Motil Cytoskeleton. 1993;25(3):267-81.

Human fibroblast tropomyosin isoforms: characterization of cDNA clones and analysis of tropomyosin isoform expression in human tissues and in normal and transformed cells.

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Department of Biological Sciences, University of Iowa, Iowa City 52242-1324.


A tropomyosin-specific oligonucleotide probe (REN29) designed to hybridize to all known human tropomyosin isoforms was used to study tropomyosin mRNA levels in normal and transformed human cells. At least four different sizes of RNAs were detected in normal human fibroblast KD cells by Northern blot analysis. The major bands of 1.1 kb RNA for hTM1 and 3.0 kb RNA for hTM4 were decreased substantially in various transformed cell lines. One of the minor RNA bands (2.0 kb for hTM2 and hTM3) appeared to be absent in a human pancreatic carcinoma cell line. The level of the other minor RNA band (2.5 kb for hTM5) was found to be unchanged or slightly decreased in transformed cells. This differential expression of tropomyosin isoforms at the RNA level was not totally in agreement with the difference in the protein amounts found in normal and transformed cells, suggesting that translational control may also play an important role in the expression of some tropomyosin isoforms. The REN29 probe was further used to screen lambda gt10 and lambda gt11 cDNA libraries, which were constructed from poly(A)+ RNAs of human fibroblast cell lines HuT-14 and WI-38, respectively. In addition to cDNA clones encoding known isoforms, we obtained three classes of new cDNA clones that encode two low M(r) isoforms (hTM5a and hTM5b), and a high M(r) isoform (hTMsm alpha). Sequence comparison revealed that hTM5a and hTM5b are alternatively spliced products derived from the same gene that encodes hTM2 and hTM3. Northern blot analysis and amino acid sequence comparison suggested that the hTMsm alpha represents a smooth muscle tropomyosin which is also expressed in human fibroblasts. The exon specific for, and common to, hTM5a and hTM5b was found to be highly expressed in small intestine. However, there was no detectable expression of this exon in stomach and skeletal muscle. The difference in tissue-specific expression suggests that different isoforms may perform distinct functions in different tissues.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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