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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1997 May 13;94(10):4943-7.

Characterization and tissue-specific expression of the rat basic fibroblast growth factor antisense mRNA and protein.

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Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada B3H 4H7.


An RNA transcribed from the antisense strand of the FGF-2 gene has been implicated in the regulation of FGF-2 mRNA stability in amphibian oocytes. We have now cloned and characterized a novel 1. 1-kb mRNA (fgf-as) from neonatal rat liver. In non-central nervous system (CNS) tissues the fgf-as RNA is abundantly expressed in a developmentally regulated manner. The FGF-AS cDNA contains a consensus polyadenylylation signal and a long open reading frame (ORF) whose deduced amino acid sequence predicts a 35-kDa protein with homology to the MutT family of nucleotide hydrolases. Western blot analysis with antibodies against the deduced peptide sequence demonstrates that the FGF-AS protein is expressed in a broad range of non-CNS tissue in the postnatal period. In the developing brain, the abundance of sense and antisense transcripts are inversely related, suggesting a role for the antisense RNA in posttranscriptional regulation of FGF-2 expression in this tissue. The FGF-AS is complementary to two widely separated regions in the long 3' untranslated region of the FGF-2 mRNA, in the vicinity of the proximal and distal polyadenylylation sites. These findings demonstrate that the FGF-2 and fgf-as RNAs are coordinately transcribed on a tissue-specific and developmentally regulated basis and suggest that interaction of the sense and antisense RNAs may result in posttranscriptional regulation of FGF-2 in some tissues.

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