Structure of the human gene and two rat cDNAs encoding the alpha chain of GTP-binding regulatory protein Go: two different mRNAs are generated by alternative splicing.
Go is a specific class ("other") of signal-transducing heterotrimeric GTP-binding proteins (G proteins) that is expressed in high levels in mammalian brain. We have cloned two different rat cDNAs encoding the alpha subunit of Go (Go alpha-1 and Go alpha-2) and a human Go alpha chromosomal gene. The human Go alpha gene spans more than 100 kilobases and contains 11 exons, including one noncoding exon in the 3' flanking region. The 5' flanking region is highly G + C-rich and contains five G.C boxes (Sp1 binding sites) but no TATA box. Exons 7 and 8 coding for amino acid residues 242-354 of Go alpha protein are duplicated (referred to as exons 7A, 7B, 8A, and 8B). It was found that exons 7A and 8A code for Go alpha-1, and 7B and 8B code for Go alpha-2. This indicates that two different Go alpha mRNAs may be generated by alternative splicing of a single Go alpha gene. The splice sites of the Go alpha-1 and Go alpha-2 genes are completely identical with those encoding human inhibitory G protein alpha subunits Gi2 alpha and Gi3 alpha [Itoh, H., Toyama, R., Kozasa, T., Tsukamoto, T., Matsuoka, M. & Kaziro, Y. (1988) J. Biol. Chem. 263, 6656-6664] and also transducin G protein alpha subunit Gt1 alpha [Raport, C. J., Dere, B. & Hurley, J. (1989) J. Biol. Chem. 264, 7122-7128]. Sequence homology and conservation of the exon-intron organization indicate that the genes coding for Go alpha, Gi2 alpha, Gi3 alpha, Gt1 alpha, and probably Gi1 alpha may be evolved from a common progenitor. Like Go alpha-1, Go alpha-2 is expressed mainly in brain.