Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences, Osaka University

Japanese

Monoallelic yet combinatorial expression of variable exons of the CNR/Protocadherin-a gene cluster in single neurons.

Journal Nat Genet 37, 171-176 (2005)
Authors Esumi S, Kakazu N, Taguchi Y, Hirayama T, Sasaki A, Hirabayashi T, Koide T, Kitsukawa T, Hamada S, and Yagi T.
Title Monoallelic yet combinatorial expression of variable exons of the CNR/Protocadherin-a gene cluster in single neurons.
PubMed 15640798
Laboratory KOKORO-Biology Group 〈Prof. Yagi〉
Abstract Diverse protocadherin-alpha genes (Pcdha, also called cadherin-related neuronal receptor or CNR) are expressed in the vertebrate brain. Their genomic organization involves multiple variable exons and a set of constant exons, similar to the immunoglobulin (Ig) and T-cell receptor (TCR) genes. This diversity can be used to distinguish neurons. Using polymorphisms that distinguish the C57BL/6 and MSM mouse strains, we analyzed the allelic expression of the Pcdha gene cluster in individual neurons. Single-cell analysis of Purkinje cells using multiple RT-PCR reactions showed the monoallelic and combinatorial expression of each variable exon in the Pcdha genes. This report is the first description to our knowledge of the allelic expression of a diversified receptor family in the central nervous system. The allelic and combinatorial expression of distinct variable exons of the Pcdha genes is a potential mechanism for specifying neuron identity in the brain.