We describe the structure of the rat importin 9 gene, together with its transcripts and the encoded protein with its putative functional domains. The importin 9 gene contains 24 exons in a genomic region spanning >52,000 bp. It is transcribed into two mRNAs, generated by means of alternative polyadenylation site usage arranged in tandem. Both transcripts possess the same noncanonical polyadenylation signal (AGUAAA) in rat, this hexamer being conserved in all vertebrates examined. Additionally, intron 8 is bordered by AT-AC dinucleotides. Importin 9 is expressed throughout adult rat tissues, but the 114-kDa Importin 9 protein was detected only in the brain. The localization of the Importin 9 protein was examined by immunohistochemistry in both adult rat tissues and primary hippocampal cell cultures. The strongest labeling was detected in vivo in areas populated by neurons in high density and also in the dendritic processes emanating from these cells. This protein was clearly concentrated in the nuclei of these cells, although their cytoplasms too were heavily labeled. Strong cytoplasmic and very strong nuclear staining was found in a vast majority of the cells with neuronal morphology in vitro. Cultured cells with glial morphology generally exhibited a weaker cytoplasmic labeling. In these cells, the signal decorated the nuclear envelope without nuclear staining and gradually dwindled toward the cell periphery. These results hint at the cell- or tissue-type specific functions of this type of importin protein.
- AT-AC intron
- Ran-binding protein
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience