Introduction of novel splice variants for CASC18 gene and its relation to the neural differentiation.

PMID 27956168


CASC18 along with APPL2, OCC-1 and NUAK1 flanking genes are located in 12q23.3 locus which is known as a potential cancer predisposition locus. Only an uncharacterized EST was initially reported for CASC18 and it was crucial to find its full length sequence and function. In an attempt to search for the CASC18's full-length gene sequence, other related ESTs were bioinformatically collected and four novel splice variants (designated as; CASC18-A, -B, -C and -D) were deduced and some were experimentally validated. Two transcription start sites and two alternative polyadenylation sites were deduced for CASC18 gene, using EST data mining and RACE method. CASC18-A and CASC18-D were exclusively expressed in neural cell lines and CASC18-D expression level was gradually increased during the NT2 differentiation to the neuron-like cells. Consistently, overexpression of CASC18-D variant in NT2 cells resulted in remarkable up-regulation of PAX6 neural differentiation marker, suggesting a crucial role of this variant in neural differentiation. Here, we introduced seven novel transcription variants for human CASC18 gene in which CASC18-D has the potential of being used as a neural cell differentiation marker.