[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: CD9 is the best-studied member of the tetraspanin family of transmembrane proteins. It is involved in various fundamental cellular processes and its altered expression is a characteristic of malignant cells of different origins. Despite numerous investigations confirming its fundamental role, the heterogeneity of CD9 or other tetraspanin proteins was considered only to be caused by posttranslational modification, rather than alternative splicing. Here we describe the first identification of CD9 transcript variants expressed by cell lines derived from fetal rat brain cells. Variant mRNA-B lacks a potential translation initiation codon in the alternative exon 1 and seems to be characteristic of the tumorigenic BT cell lines. In contrast, variant mRNA-C can be translated from a functional initiation codon located in its extended exon 2, and substantial amounts of this form detected in various tissues suggest a contribution to CD9 functions. From the alternative sequence of variant C, a different membrane topology (5 transmembrane domains) and a deviating spectrum of functions can be expected.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We describe a family with a history of breast and ovarian cancer in which MLPA analysis of the BRCA1 gene pointed to a deletion including a part of exon 11. Further characterization confirmed a loss of 374 bp in a region completely covered by conventional sequencing which had not revealed the deletion. Because this alteration was only detected serendipitously with an MLPA probe, we calculated the probabilities of detecting medium-sized deletions in large exons by methods including initial PCR amplification. This showed that a considerable fraction of medium-sized deletions are undetectable by currently used standard methods of mutation analyses. We conclude that long, widely overlapping amplicons should be used to minimize the risk of missing medium-sized deletions. Alternatively, large exons could be completely covered by narrow-spaced MLPA probes.