Journal Article

Novel Alternatively Spliced Isoforms of the Neurofibromatosis Type 2 Tumor Suppressor Are Targeted to the Nucleus and Cytoplasmic Granules

Beatrice Schmucker, Yong Tang and Michael Kressel

in Human Molecular Genetics

Volume 8, issue 8, pages 1561-1570
Published in print August 1999 | ISSN: 0964-6906
Published online August 1999 | e-ISSN: 1460-2083 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/8.8.1561
Novel Alternatively Spliced Isoforms of the Neurofibromatosis Type 2 Tumor Suppressor Are Targeted to the Nucleus and Cytoplasmic Granules

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We cloned novel splice variants Mer150, Mer151 and Mer162 of the neurofibromatosis 2 (NF2) tumor suppressor, which demonstrate a tissue-specific and development-specific expression pattern. Isoform Mer150 is created by cryptic splicing from exon 8 to 14 and represents an N-terminal truncation of 259 residues. Mer151 is characterized by in-frame splicing out of several exons and a modified C-terminus due to a frameshift in exons 13+14 and premature termination. Mer162 represents a head-to-tail isoform resulting from in-frame skipping of exons 5–16. As a common feature, the α-helical domain and a variable proportion of the ERM homology domain are spliced out in these isoforms. To investigate differences in subcellular localization, we expressed epitope-tagged cDNA constructs of the wild-type NF2 as well as of the three alternatively spliced transcripts in NIH 3T3 cells by nuclear microinjection or lipid-mediated transfection. Subcellular localization of Mer151 in filopodia and ruffling membranes was similar to the wild-type NF2. Mer151, however, was targeted to the nucleus, which was not observed for wild-type NF2, Mer150 or Mer162. A putative nuclear localization signal created by alternative splicing was identified in Mer151. In contrast to Mer151, Mer150 and Mer162 were not found in regions of the plasma membrane, but localized to a granular intracellular compartment. The results suggest that the recently described actinbinding domain in exon 10, but not the presence or absence of exons 2+3, is relevant for subcellular targeting. Although the NF2 protein is known as a cytoskeletal linker, additional functions in a cytoplasmic compartment and in the nucleus may exist.

Journal Article.  7378 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Genetics and Genomics

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