Distribution and activity of alternatively spliced alzheimer amyloid peptide precursor and scrapie PrP mRNAs on rat brain polysomes☆
Review articleOpen access

AbstractMammalian brains contain low levels of the Alzheimer amyloid precursor variants (AAPPs) and the normal form of the scrapie agent protease-resistant protein (PrPc); however, their mRNAs are readily detectable. To understand these discrepancies we have investigated some aspects of the translational regulation of these mRNAs. An accurate blot-hybridization procedure was developed to measure absolute amounts of mRNA. Rat brain contains the following mRNA levels (ng/g tissue) AAPP(695), 170; AAPP(751/770), 63; PrPc, 144; actin, 615; glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (G3PDH), 359; ferritin, 148. The method was also used to determine the distribution of mRNAs between translationally active polysomes and translationally inactive ribonucleoprotein protein particles (mRNPs). More than 90% of G3PDH and actin mRNAs were associated with polysomal RNA; whereas, ferritin light chain mRNA was predominantly (90%) in mRNP RNA. The degree of crosscontamination of mRNPs with polysomes was less than 10%. Probes specific for the scrapie PrP protein and the AAPP(695) splice junction revealed that 70% of these mRNAs were associated with polysomes. One-half of AAPP(751/770) mRNAs (which comprise 20–30% of all AAPP mRNA in brain) were found in polysomes. We conclude therefore that both scrapie and AAPP mRNAs are subject to translational regulation in rat brain. Evidence from in vitro translational experiments confirm the message distribution determined by blot hybridization and corroborate the hypothesis that AAPP is subject to partial post-transcriptional regulation. Nevertheless, the low tissue levels of AAPP and PrPc must result primarily from their relatively rapid turnover.

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