Alternative 5' exons either provide or deny an initiator methionine codon to the same alpha-tubulin coding region

UMMS Affiliation

Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences; Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology

Publication Date


Document Type



Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences


The primary structures of two overlapping novel alpha-tubulin cDNA clones isolated from a Macaca fascicularis testis cDNA library and the corresponding human gene are presented. Although the general structure of the human gene conforms to that of previously described mammalian alpha-tubulin genes, there is a surprising difference: the ATG initiator codon is conspicuously absent. The macaque testis cDNA similarly lacks the initiator methionine, but otherwise encodes a variant alpha-tubulin isotype precisely conserved in the human gene. RNA blot analysis in the macaque, using a 3' untranslated region probe, revealed the existence of two additional related transcripts expressed in every tissue examined except the adult testis. Sequence comparisons indicate that the 2.0 kb testis transcript and one of the additional transcripts result from differential transcription of the same gene. The two transcripts differ only at the 5' end as a result of the recruitment of different 5' exons. Curiously, the 5' exon utilized outside the testis encodes an initiator methionine in the expected location.

DOI of Published Version



Nucleic Acids Res. 1987 Jan 12;15(1):199-218.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Nucleic acids research

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Link to article in PubMed

PubMed ID