Genomic organization and the tissue distribution of alternatively spliced isoforms of the mouse Spatial gene

Irla, Magali; Puthier, Denis; Granjeaud, Samuel; Saade, Murielle; Victorero, Geneviève; Mattei, Marie-Geneviève; Nguyen, Catherine
January 2004
BMC Genomics;2004, Vol. 5, p1
Academic Journal
Background: The stromal component of the thymic microenvironment is critical for T lymphocyte generation. Thymocyte differentiation involves a cascade of coordinated stromal genes controlling thymocyte survival, lineage commitment and selection. The "Stromal Protein Associated with Thymii And Lymph-node" (Spatial) gene encodes a putative transcription factor which may be involved in T-cell development. In the testis, the Spatial gene is also expressed by round spermatids during spermatogenesis. Results: The Spatial gene maps to the B3-B4 region of murine chromosome 10 corresponding to the human syntenic region 10q22.1. The mouse Spatial genomic DNA is organised into 10 exons and is alternatively spliced to generate two short isoforms (Spatial-δ and -γ) and two other long isoforms (Spatial-α and -ε) comprising 5 additional exons on the 3' site. Here, we report the cloning of a new short isoform, Spatial-β, which differs from other isoforms by an additional alternative exon of 69 bases. This new exon encodes an interesting proline-rich signature that could confer to the 34 kDa Spatial-β protein a particular function. By quantitative TaqMan RT-PCR, we have shown that the short isoforms are highly expressed in the thymus while the long isoforms are highly expressed in the testis. We further examined the inter-species conservation of Spatial between several mammals and identified that the protein which is rich in proline and positive amino acids, is highly conserved. Conclusions: The Spatial gene generates at least five alternative spliced variants: three short isoforms (Spatial-α, -β and -γ) highly expressed in the thymus and two long isoforms (Spatial-δ and -ε) highly expressed in the testis. These alternative spliced variants could have a tissue specific function.


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