Journal Article

Characterization of Dystrophin and Utrophin Diversity in the Mouse

Carey N. Lumeng, Stephanie F. Phelps, Jill A. Rafael, Greg A. Cox, Tressia L. Hutchinson, Catherine R. Begy, Erika Adkins, Rodney Wiltshire and Jeffrey S. Chamberlain

in Human Molecular Genetics

Volume 8, issue 4, pages 593-599
Published in print April 1999 | ISSN: 0964-6906
Published online April 1999 | e-ISSN: 1460-2083 | DOI:
Characterization of Dystrophin and Utrophin Diversity in the Mouse

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Utrophin is a 400 kDa autosomal homolog of dystrophin and a component of the submembranous cytoskeleton. While multiple dystrophin isoforms have been identified along with alternatively spliced products, to date only two different mRNA species of utro-phin have been identified. To determine the degree of evolutionary conservation between dystrophin and utrophin isoforms, we have compared their expression patterns in adult mice. Northern blot analysis of multiple adult tissues confirmed that only two major sizes of transcripts are produced from each gene: 13 and 5.5 kb from utrophin and 14 and 4.8 kb from dystrophin. However, western blot analysis detected several putative short utrophin isoforms that may be homologs of the dystrophin isoforms Dp140, Dp116 and Dp71. We also identified an alternatively spliced utrophin transcript that lacks the equivalent of the alternatively spliced dystrophin exon 71. Finally, we demonstrated that the C-terminal domain of utrophin targeted to neuromuscular junctions in normal mice, but localized to the sarcolemma efficiently only in the absence of dystrophin. Our results provide further evidence for a common evolutionary origin of the utrophin and dystrophin genes.

Journal Article.  5916 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Genetics and Genomics

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