Novel alternative splicing of mRNAs encoding poly(A) polymerases in Arabidopsis

Balasubrahmanyam Addepalli, Lisa R. Meeks, Kevin P. Forbes, Arthur G. Hunt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The Arabidopsis thaliana genome possesses four genes whose predicted products are similar to eukaryotic poly(A) polymerases from yeasts and animals. These genes are all expressed, as indicated by RT/PCR and Northern blot analysis. The four Arabidopsis PAPs share a conserved N-terminal catalytic core with other eukaryotic enzymes, but differ substantially in their C-termini. Moreover, one of the four Arabidopsis enzymes is significantly shorter than the other three, and is more divergent even within the conserved core of the protein. Nonetheless, the protein encoded by this gene, when produced in and purified from E. coli, possesses nonspecific poly(A) polymerase activity. Genes encoding these Arabidopsis PAPs give rise to a number of alternatively spliced mRNAs. While the specific nature of the alternative splicing varied amongst these three genes, mRNAs from the three "larger" genes could be alternatively spliced in the vicinity of the 5th and 6th introns of each gene. Interestingly, the patterns of alternative splicing vary in different tissues. The ubiquity of alternative splicing in this gene family, as well as the differences in specific mechanisms of alternative processing in the different genes, suggests an important function for alternatively spliced PAP mRNAs in Arabidopsis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-128
Number of pages12
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Gene Structure and Expression
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 12 2004

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors are grateful for the assistance of Carol von Lanken and the suggestions made by Tomal Dattaroy at various stages of this work. This study was supported by a grant from the USDA (USDA NRI CGP # 99-35301-7904) and a Phillip Morris Graduate Fellowship from the University of Kentucky.


  • Alternative splicing
  • Poly(A) polymerase
  • Tissue-specific

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Genetics


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