Journal Article

<i>MATN</i> and <i>LAPTM</i> Are Parts of Larger Transcription Units Produced by Intergenic Splicing: Intergenic Splicing May Be a Common Phenomenon

Koichi Maeda, Taizo Horikoshi, Eiji Nakashima, Yoshinari Miyamoto, Akihiko Mabuchi and Shiro Ikegawa

in DNA Research

Published on behalf of Kazusa DNA Research Institute

Volume 12, issue 5, pages 365-372
Published in print January 2006 | ISSN: 1340-2838
Published online January 2005 | e-ISSN: 1756-1663 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/dnares/dsi017

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Intergenic splicing, the joining of exons from separate genes, has been observed only rarely in mammals. While the matrilin (MATN) and lysosomal-associated protein transmembrane (LAPTM) genes comprise distinct gene families, we have demonstrated intergenic splicing between two sets of family genes, the matrilin-3 (MATN3) and lysosomal-associated protein transmembrane 4α (LAPTM4A), and the matrilin-2 (MATN2) and lysosomal-associated protein transmembrane 4β (LAPTM4B). The expression pattern and sub-cellular localization of the MATNLAPTM hybrid transcripts differ from those of the original genes, suggesting unique functions for the products. Our observations indicate that intergenic splicing is a common and well-regulated phenomenon and underscore the fundamental challenges in defining the gene (transcriptional unit). Given these findings, the number of gene in the human genome may be smaller than present estimates suggest.

Keywords: MATN3; LAPTM4A; intergenic splicing; hybrid mRNA; fusion protein

Journal Article.  3963 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Genetics and Genomics

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