Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract Ran genes encode a family of well-conserved small nuclear GTPases (Ras-related nuclear proteins), whose function is implicated in both normal cell cycle progression and the transport of RNA and proteins between the nucleus and the cytoplasm. Previous studies of Ran proteins have utilized cell-free systems, yeasts, and cultured mammalian cells. We have now characterized patterns of Ran gene expression in the mouse. Serum starvation suppressed Ran gene transcription in mouse 3T3 cells. Ran mRNA reappeared in cells within 3 h after refeeding. A single Ran mRNA species was detected at low levels in most somatic tissues of the adult mouse. In testis, this Ran mRNA was abundant, as were other larger transcripts. Analysis of testis-derived Ran cDNA clones revealed the presence of two transcripts, one specifying an amino acid sequence identical to that of human Ran/TC4 and one specifying an amino acid sequence 94% identical. Northern blotting and reverse transcriptase-PCR assays with oligonucleotide probes and primers specific for each transcript demonstrated that the isoform identical to Ran/TC4 was expressed in both somatic tissues and testis, while the variant form was transcribed only in testis. The existence of tissue-specific Ran isoforms may help to rationalize the diverse roles suggested for Ran by previous biochemical studies.
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