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J Biol Chem. 1997 Dec 26;272(52):33045-55.

Cloning and expression of acetylcholinesterase from Electrophorus. Splicing pattern of the 3' exons in vivo and in transfected mammalian cells.

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Laboratoire de Neurobiologie Cellulaire et Moléculaire, CNRS URA 1857, Ecole Normale Supérieure, 46 rue d'Ulm, 75005 Paris, France.


We cloned and expressed a cDNA encoding acetylcholinesterase (AChE) of type T from Electrophorus electricus organs. When expressed in COS, HEK, and Chinese hamster ovary cells, the AChET subunits generated dimers and tetramers. The cells produced more activity at 27 than at 37 degrees C. The kinetic parameters of a recombinant enzyme, produced in the yeast Pichia pastoris, were close to those of the natural AChE. Analysis of genomic clones showed that the coding sequence is interrupted by an intron that does not exist in Torpedo and differs in its location from that observed in the mouse. This intron is preceded by a sequence encoding a non-conserved 29-amino acid peptide, which does not exist in Torpedo or mammalian AChEs. According to a three-dimensional model, this non-conserved peptide is located at the surface of the protein, opposite from the entry of the catalytic gorge; its deletion did not modify the catalytic parameters. Sequence analyses and expression of various constructs showed that the gene does not contain any H exon. We also found that splicing of transcripts in mammalian cells reveals cryptic donor sites in exons and acceptor sites in introns, which do not appear to be used in vivo.

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