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Genomics. 1998 Nov 1;53(3):369-76.

Two isoforms of a human intersectin (ITSN) protein are produced by brain-specific alternative splicing in a stop codon.

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  • 1Department of Genetics and Microbiology, University of Geneva Medical School, Geneva 4, 1211.


Using selected trapped exons with homology to specific protein domains, we identified a new full-length cDNA encoding a protein containing many motifs for protein-protein interactions. There are two major mRNA transcripts, a ubiquitously expressed mRNA of 5.3 kb and a brain-specific transcript of approximately 15 kb, encoding proteins of 1220 and 1721 amino acids, respectively. The stop codon of the ORF of the shorter transcript is split between adjacent exons. In brain tissues the last exon of the short transcript is skipped, and an alternative downstream exon, the first of several additional, is used to produce the 15-kb mRNA. The putative human protein is highly homologous to Xenopus intersectin (81% identical) and to Drosophila dynamin-associated protein, Dap160 (31% identical) and was termed intersectin (ITSN). Both human proteins contain five SH3 (Src homology 3) domains, two EH (Eps15 homology) domains, and an alpha-helix-forming region. The brain-specific long transcript encodes for three additional domains: a GEF (guanine-nucleotide exchange factors), a PH (pleckstrin homology), and a C2 domain. The Drosophila homologue is associated with dynamin, a protein family involved in the endocytic pathway and/or synaptic vesicle recycling. The structure of the human ITSN protein is consistent with its involvement in membrane-associated molecular trafficking and signal transduction pathways. The human ITSN gene has been mapped to 21q22. 1-q22.2 between markers D21S319 and D21S65, and its importance in Down syndrome and monogenic disorders is currently unknown.

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