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Publication : Invertebrate synapsins: a single gene codes for several isoforms in Drosophila.

First Author  Klagges B R Year  1996
Journal  J. Neurosci. Volume  16
Pages  3154-65 PubMed ID  8627354
Abstract Text  Vertebrate synapsins constitute a family of synaptic proteins that participate in the regulation of neurotransmitter release. Information on the presence of synapsin homologs in invertebrates has been inconclusive. We have now cloned a Drosophila gene coding for at least two inferred proteins that both contain a region with 50% amino acid identity to the highly conserved vesicle- and actin-binding "C"domain of vertebrate synapsins. Within the C domain coding sequence, the positions of two introns have been conserved exactly from fly to human. The positions of three additional introns within this domain are similar. The Drosophila synapsin gene (Syn) is widely expressed in the nervous system of the fly. The gene products are detected in all or nearly all conventional synaptic terminals. A single amber (UAG) stop codon terminates the open reading frame (ORF1) of the most abundant transcript of the Syn gene 140 amino acid codons downstream of the homology domain. Unexpectedly, the stop codon is followed by another 443 in-frame amino acid codons (ORF2). Using different antibodies directed against ORF1 or ORF2, we demonstrate that in the adult fly small and large synapsin isoforms are generated. The small isoforms are only recognized by antibodies against ORF1; the large isoforms bind both kinds of antibodies. We suggest that the large synapsin isoform in Drosophila may be generated by UAG read-through. Implications of such an unconventional mechanism for the generation of protein diversity from a single gene are discussed. Issue  10
Month  May

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