Evolution of the neuron-specific alternative splicing product of the c-src proto-oncogene

Journal of Neuroscience Research
F RaulfM Schartl


The observation of a slower migrating form of pp60c-src in neural tissue of chicken and mouse has recently been shown to be due to an alternative transcript form of the c-src gene (Martinez et al.: Science 237:411-415, 1987; Levy et al.: Mol Cell Biol 7:4142-4145, 1987). An insertion of 18 basepairs between exons 3 and 4, presumed to be due to alternative splicing of a mini-exon, gives rise to six amino acid residues not found in the non-neuronal (termed fibroblastic) form of pp60c-src. We have addressed the question of the evolutionary origin of the c-src neuronal insert and its functional significance regarding neural-specific expression of the c-src gene. To this end we have investigated whether the c-src gene of a lower vertebrate (the teleost fish Xiphophorus) gives rise to a neural-specific transcript in an analogous manner. We could show that the fish c-src gene does encode for a "fibroblastic" and a "neuronal" form of transcript and that the neuronal transcript does indeed arise by way of alternative splicing of a mini-exon. The mini-exon is also 18 basepairs long and we could demonstrate directly that this exon lies within the intron separating exons 3 and 4. For comparative purposes we have examined whether the fish c...Continue Reading


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