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      Neuroendocrine Secretory Protein 55 (NESP55): Alternative Splicing onto Transcripts of the GNAS Gene and Posttranslational Processing of a Maternally Expressed Protein

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          Recent studies established a novel genomically imprinted gene located 45 kb upstream of the human GNAS1 locus. This locus encoded for the Neuroendocrine Secretory Protein with an apparent molecular weight of 55,000 (NESP55), which is transcribed exclusively from the maternal allele. We sequenced rat and human NESP55 and investigated tissue-specific splicing of its mRNA and posttranslational modifications of the protein in various tissues. Alternative mRNA splicing of NESP55 was analyzed by sequencing of cDNA clones, RT-PCR and Northern blotting. Two main splice variants, which were generated in a tissue-specific manner, were identified: The open reading frame encoding NESP55 was spliced onto exons 2–13 of Gsα in the adrenal medulla, pituitary and the brain. In addition, in the pituitary a second shorter, prominent mRNA transcript was generated by splicing of NESP55 onto exons 2, 3 and N1 of Gsα. Several of the cDNA clones isolated contained inverted repeats of 50–150 bp at their 5′ or 3′ termini, which might form hairpin stems and thus alter mRNA stability. The NESP55 open reading frame encoded a hydrophilic protein of 28,018 Da (human) and 29,218 Da (rat), respectively, which resembled the class of acidic, neuroendocrine secretory proteins collectively called chromogranins. NESP55 is highly conserved among mammalian species. It is posttranslationally acidified by the addition of keratan sulfate glycosaminoglycan chains and differentially processed by endopeptidases in various endocrine and neuronal tissues.

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          Most cited references 12

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          Single-step method of RNA isolation by acid guanidinium thiocyanate-phenol-chloroform extraction.

          A new method of total RNA isolation by a single extraction with an acid guanidinium thiocyanate-phenol-chloroform mixture is described. The method provides a pure preparation of undegraded RNA in high yield and can be completed within 4 h. It is particularly useful for processing large numbers of samples and for isolation of RNA from minute quantities of cells or tissue samples.
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            The chromogranins A and B: The first 25 years and future perspectives

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              Bidirectional imprinting of a single gene: GNAS1 encodes maternally, paternally, and biallelically derived proteins.

              The GNAS1 gene encodes the alpha subunit of the guanine nucleotide-binding protein Gs, which couples signaling through peptide hormone receptors to cAMP generation. GNAS1 mutations underlie the hormone resistance syndrome pseudohypoparathyroidism type Ia (PHP-Ia), so the maternal inheritance displayed by PHP-Ia has raised suspicions that GNAS1 is imprinted. Despite this suggestion, in most tissues Gsalpha is biallelically encoded. In contrast, the large G protein XLalphas, also encoded by GNAS1, is paternally derived. Because the inheritance of PHP-Ia predicts the existence of maternally, rather than paternally, expressed transcripts, we have investigated the allelic origin of other mRNAs derived from GNAS1. We find this gene to be remarkable in the complexity of its allele-specific regulation. Two upstream promoters, each associated with a large coding exon, lie only 11 kb apart, yet show opposite patterns of allele-specific methylation and monoallelic transcription. The more 5' of these exons encodes the neuroendocrine secretory protein NESP55, which is expressed exclusively from the maternal allele. The NESP55 exon is 11 kb 5' to the paternally expressed XLalphas exon. The transcripts from these two promoters both splice onto GNAS1 exon 2, yet share no coding sequences. Despite their structural unrelatedness, the encoded proteins, of opposite allelic origin, both have been implicated in regulated secretion in neuroendocrine tissues. Remarkably, maternally (NESP55), paternally (XLalphas), and biallelically (Gsalpha) derived proteins all are produced by different patterns of promoter use and alternative splicing of GNAS1, a gene showing simultaneous imprinting in both the paternal and maternal directions.

                Author and article information

                S. Karger AG
                March 2000
                20 March 2000
                : 71
                : 3
                : 177-186
                Department of Pharmacology, University of Innsbruck, Austria
                54535 Neuroendocrinology 2000;71:177–186
                © 2000 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 6, References: 38, Pages: 10
                Regulation and Gene Expression of Pituitary Cells


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