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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1997 Apr 28;233(3):650-4.

Alternative usage of exon 1 of bovine PrP mRNA.

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Department of Veterinary Public Health, Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Japan.


Here we report two types of bovine prion protein (PrP) mRNA that possessed different lengths of the 5'-untranslated region and were expressed in various bovine tissues. The two mRNA species were transcribed from identical positions but differed in the usage of the splice site for exon 1/intron. One mRNA possessed exon 1 consisting of 53 nucleotides and the other possessed exon 1 consisting of 168 nucleotides. Usage of exons 2 and 3 was identical for the two mRNA species. The two mRNA species were detected in all but spleen tissue; the mRNA possessing 168-nt exon 1 was not detected in bovine spleen. This is the first report on the tissue-specific alternative splicing of PrPc mRNA in any other species. Only a low level of PrPc appeared to be present in bovine spleen. These results suggested the possibility that the mRNA possessing 53-nt exon 1 was inefficiently translated into Prp; however, in vitro translation analysis showed no marked difference in translational efficiency between the two mRNA species.

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