PLoS One 2010 Aug 20;5(8):e12325. Epub 2010 Aug 20.
Lab for Experimental Oncology and Radiobiology, Center for Experimental Molecular Medicine, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Prominin-1, a heavily glycosylated pentaspan membrane protein, is mainly known for its function as a marker for (cancer) stem cells, although it can also be detected on differentiated cells. Mouse prominin-1 expression is heavily regulated by splicing in eight different variants. The function or the expression pattern of prominin-1 and its splice variants (SVs) is thus far unknown. In this study, we analyzed the expression of the prominin-1 splice variants on mRNA level in several mouse tissues and found a broad tissue expression of the majority of SVs, but a specific set of SVs had a much more restricted expression profile. For instance, the testis expressed only SV3 and SV7. Moreover, SV8 was solely detected in the eye. Intriguingly, prominin-1 knockout mice do not suffer from gross abnormalities, but do show signs of blindness, which suggest that SV8 has a specific function in this tissue. In addition, databases searches for putative promoter regions in the mouse prominin-1 gene revealed three potential promoter regions that could be linked to specific SVs. Interestingly, for both SV7 and SV8, a specific potential promoter region could be identified. To conclude, the majority of mouse prominin-1 splice variants are widely expressed in mouse tissues. However, specific expression of a few variants, likely driven by specific promoters, suggests distinct regulation and a potential important function for these variants in certain tissues.