A rat brain bicistronic gene with an internal ribosome entry site codes for a phencyclidine-binding protein with cytotoxic activity.
J Biol Chem. 2008 Nov 21;
Authors: *** D, Kumar KN, Mach JR, Srinivasan A, Pal R, Bao X, Agbas A, Hofner G, Wanner KT, Michaelis EK
The cloning and characterization of the gene for the fourth subunit of a glutamate-binding protein complex in rat brain synaptic membranes is described. The cloned rat brain cDNA contained two open reading frames (ORFs) encoding 8.9 (PRO1) and 9.5 kDa (PRO2) proteins. The cDNA sequence matched contiguous genomic DNA sequences in rat chromosome 17. Both ORFs were expressed within the structure of a single brain mRNA and antibodies against unique sequences in PRO1 and PRO2 labeled brain neurons in situ, indicative of bicistronic gene expression. Dicistronic vectors in which ORF1 and ORF2 were substituted by either two different fluorescent proteins or two luciferases, indicated concurrent and, yet, independent translation of the two ORFs. Transfection with non-capped mRNA led to cap-independent translation of only ORF2 through an internal ribosome entry sequence preceding ORF2. In vitro or cell expression of the cloned cDNA led to the formation of multimeric protein complexes containing both PRO1 and PRO2. These complexes had low affinity (+)-5-methyl-10,11-dihydro-5H-dibenzo[a,d]cyclohepten-5,10-imine (MK-801)-sensitive phencyclidine binding sites. Over-expression of PRO1 and PRO2 in CHO, but not neuroblastoma, cells caused cell death within 24-48 h. The cytotoxicity was blocked by concurrent treatment with MK-801 or by two tetrahydroisoquinolines that bind to phencyclidine sites in neuronal membranes. Co-expression of two of the other subunits of the protein complex together with PRO1/PRO2 abrogated the cytotoxic effect without altering PRO1/PRO2 protein levels. Thus, this rare mammalian bicistronic gene coded for two tightly interacting brain proteins forming a low affinity phencyclidine-binding entity in a synaptic membrane complex.
PMID: 19028684 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]