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Nucleic Acids Res. 1993 Mar 11;21(5):1187-91.

Differential splicing in mouse thymus generates two forms of terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase.

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  • 1Institut Pasteur, Unité de Génétique et Biochimie du Développement, URA CNRS 361, Département d'Immunologie, Paris, France.


A new form of TdT mRNA has been identified by screening a mouse thymus cDNA library. It contains an open reading frame of 1527 base pairs corresponding to a protein containing 509 aminoacids, whereas the previously identified mouse TdT mRNA is composed of 1587 base pairs and encodes a protein of 529 aminoacids. Analysis of a mouse genomic clone containing the 3' portion of the TdT gene shows that these twenty additional aminoacids are encoded by an additional exon located between exons X and XI. Both forms of TdT mRNA are present in the thymus and could be generated by alternative splicing. The cDNA reported here corresponds to the major form of TdT mRNA in Balb/c mice and closely resembles human and bovine TdT cDNA. Expression of this cDNA in mammalian cells shows that it encodes a functional protein capable of catalysing N region insertions at the recombination junction of an episomic recombination substrate.

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