The genomic structure of discoidin receptor tyrosine kinase.
The discoidin domain receptor (DDR) is a new class of receptor tyrosine kinase that is distinguished by a unique extracellular domain homologous to the lectin Discoidin I found Dictyostelium discoideum. A cosmid was isolated from a human chromosome 6 cosmid library containing the DDR gene. A complete genomic contig of the DDR gene was constructed from seven subclones of the cosmid. The cosmid fragments were analyzed by PCR, sequencing, and comparison of genomic/cDNA sequence. The DDR gene is composed of 17 exons, ranging in size from 96 to 1014 bp, distributed along approximately 12 kb of genomic DNA. The extracellular domain is encoded by 8 exons of which three code for the discoidin domain. The transmembrane domain is encoded by 1 exon, the juxtamembrane by 3 exons, and the catalytic domain by 5 exons. The generation of the two splice variants of DDR, EDDR1 and EDDR2 are explained by the genomic structure. Exon 11 (111 bp in the juxtamembrane domain) is present in DDR and absent in the splice variant EDDR1. An inverted repeat of 20 bp was identified at the 3' exon-intron junction of exon 11, which results in a lariat loop-like secondary structure. EDDR2 is generated because of a cryptic splice acceptor site that results in an extra 18 bp (6 amino acids) inserted 5' of exon 14 in the catalytic domain. A polymorphic (GT)17 repeat was identified in intron 5 with a heterozygosity of 0.71. The exon-intron structure of the DDR gene will be helpful in further understanding of its function and explains the possible structural basis for the two splice variants.