Protocadherin X and Y (PCDHX/Y) represent a pair of homologous genes located on the human sex chromosomes that are primarily expressed in the brain. PCDHY emerged as a result of a duplicative transposition from the X Chromosome (Chr) and is present on the Y only in hominids. Previous zoo-blot analysis suggested the existence of PCDHX orthologs on the X Chr of several mammalian species. This paper reports the cloning and characterization of porcine and murine Pcdhx. Pig Pcdhx cDNA was obtained by a combination of RT-PCR, SMART-RACE, and genomic sequencing and exhibits 88% identity to human PCDHX; FISH analysis indicated that porcine Pcdhx maps to Xq. Mouse Pcdhx cDNA was assembled by RT-PCR and database analysis and is 84% identical to the human gene. Some degree of alternative splicing was detected in pig Pcdhx, but not to the extent previously described in humans. Both murine and porcine Pcdhx mRNA were detected in all tissues studied. Cloning of 2.5 kb of genomic sequence upstream of the most 5′ exon of porcine Pcdhx allowed a comparative analysis with murine and human sequences in order to define potential promoter elements. All exons present in mouse and pig transcripts were found to have homologous sequences in human DNA. Not all of these exons are represented in human transcripts, indicating differential evolution and usage. The increased complexity in post-transcriptional processing and restriction of expression of the human genes primarily to central nervous system tissue as compared with pig and mouse suggests that PCDHX/Y is potentially a good candidate to account for human-specific features of the CNS.
Mammalian Genome – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 1, 2003
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