Nucleic acids research

Distinct proteins encoded by alternative transcripts of the PURG gene, located contrapodal to WRN on chromosome 8, determined by differential termination/polyadenylation.

PMID 12034829


A gene encoding a new member of the Pur protein family, Purgamma, has been detected upstream of, and contrapodal to, the gene encoding the Werner syndrome helicase, Wrn, at human chromosome band 8p11-12. Both the PURG and WRN genes initiate transcription at multiple sites, the major clusters of which are approximately 90 bp apart. A segment containing this region strongly promotes transcription of a reporter gene in both directions. Both promoters are TATA-less and CAAT-less and both are positively regulated by Sp1 elements. While promoter elements for the two genes are interleaved, in the contrapodal direction, certain elements critical for each gene are distinct. Sequencing of cDNAs for Purgamma mRNA reveals that two alternative coding sequences are generated from a single gene, resulting in different Purgamma C-termini. PURG-A mRNA consists of a single intronless transcript of approximately 3 kb. PURG-B mRNA results from transcription through the PURG-A polyadenylation site and splicing out of an intron of >30 kb. In this unique example of a switch, splicing of a single intron either occurs or does not occur depending upon differential termination/polyadenylation. PURG-B is the primary PURG transcript detected in testis, but it is undetectable in all members of a normal adult tissue cDNA panel. PURG-A levels are low or undetectable in the normal tissue panel, but they are greatly elevated in all members of a tumor tissue panel. PURG-B is detected in several tumor panel members.