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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1998 Mar 3;95(5):2615-20.

Genomic sequences of aldolase C (Zebrin II) direct lacZ expression exclusively in non-neuronal cells of transgenic mice.

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  • 1Neurologische Klinik, Marchioninstrasse 15, 81377 Munich, Germany.


Aldolase C is regarded as the brain-specific form of fructose-1, 6-bisphosphate aldolase whereas aldolase A is regarded as muscle-specific. In situ hybridization of mouse central nervous system using isozyme-specific probes revealed that aldolase A and C are expressed in complementary cell types. With the exception of cerebellar Purkinje cells, aldolase A mRNA is found in neurons; aldolase C message is detected in astrocytes, some cells of the pia mater, and Purkinje cells. We isolated aldolase C genomic clones that span the entire protein coding region from 1.5 kb 5' to the transcription start site to 0.5 kb 3' to the end of the last exon. The bacterial gene, lacZ, was inserted in two different locations and the constructs tested in transgenic mice. When the protein coding sequences were replaced with lacZ, three of five transgenic lines expressed beta-galactosidase only in cells of the pia mater; one line also expressed in astrocyte-like cells. When lacZ was inserted into the final exon (and all structural gene sequences were retained) transgene expression was observed in astrocytes in all regions of the central nervous system as well as in pial cells. Thus, with the exception of Purkinje cell expression, the behavior of the full-length transgene mimics the endogenous aldolase C gene. The results with the shorter transgene suggest that additional enhancer elements exist within the intragenic sequences. The absence of Purkinje cell staining suggests that the cis elements required for this expression must be located outside of the sequences used in this study.

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