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Gene. 1998 Oct 23;221(2):199-205.

Characterization of the human neurocan gene, CSPG3.

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  • 1Human Genome Center, Biology and Biotechnology Research Program, L-452, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA 94550, USA.


Neurocan is a chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan thought to be involved in the modulation of cell adhesion and migration. Its sequence has been determined previously in rat and mouse (Rauch et al., 1992. Cloning and primary structure of neurocan, a developmentally regulated, aggregating, chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan of the brain. J. Biol. Chem. 267, 19536-19547; Rauch et al., 1995. Structure and chromosomal location of the mouse neurocan gene. Genomics 28, 405-410). We describe here the complete coding sequence of the human neurocan mRNA, known as CSPG3, as well as mapping data, expression analysis, and genomic structure. A cDNA known as CP-1 was initially sequenced as part of a gene discovery project focused on characterizing chromosome 19-specific cDNAs. Sequence homology searches indicated close homology to the mouse and rat proteoglycan, neurocan (GenBank accession Nos X84727 and M97161). Northern analysis identified a brain-specific transcript of approx. 7.5kb. A longer cDNA clone, GT-5, was obtained, fine-mapped to the physical map of chromosome 19 by hybridization to a chromosome-specific cosmid library, and sequenced. Full coding sequence of the mRNA indicates a 3963bp open reading frame corresponding to a 1321 amino acid protein, similar to the protein length found in mouse and rat. The amino acid sequence of human neurocan shows 63% identity with both the mouse and rat sequences. Finally, genomic sequencing of a cosmid containing the complete neurocan gene was performed to determine the genomic structure of the gene, which spans approx. 41kb, and is transcribed in the telomere to centromere orientation.

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