International Mammalian Genome Society

The 16th International Mouse Genome Conference (2002)


POSTER 169 - Various alternatively spliced transcripts of the Cyp19 gene occur in mouse gonads and brain

K Golovine
Research Institute for the Biology of Farm Animals

Schwerin M, Vanselow J
Research Institute for the Biology of Farm Animals

Cyp19 gene encodes the key enzyme of estrogen biosynthesis, aromatase cytochrome P450. To investigate the transcriptional regulation of this gene in different tissues of the mouse, transcripts were isolated and analyzed by 5´RACE and RT-PCR from gonads and brains at different postnatal stages. From ovary, testis and brain, transcripts with different 5´untranslated regions (5´UTR) were isolated that had been derived from three different promoters of Cyp19. Quantification of transcripts by 5´UTR-specific real-time PCR revealed that these promoters are differently active in each of the tissues investigated.In addition to 5´UTR variants, also transcripts with altered coding sequences were isolated. Whereas the coding sequence of most transcripts is encoded by exons 2 to 10, alternative spliced transcripts of Cyp19 lacked specific exons or included new, so far unknown exons. In most alternatively spliced transcript variants the open reading frame was shortened either by frame shift or additional translation stop codons.Interestingly one of the newly identified exons that was inserted between exon 2 and 3 belongs to the B1 SINE retrotransposon family. Because of an additional translation stop codon it is unlikely that transcripts including this retroposon sequence encode a functional aromatase cytochrome P450 enzyme. Nevertheless transcripts with altered coding sequence contribute up to 20 % of all testicular Cyp19 transcripts.Alternative splicing may increase functional versatility of Cyp19 in mouse. However, further investigations on the protein level are necessary to elucidate the role of Cyp19 transcript variants in different tissues.


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