mRNA for the three human alcohol dehydrogenase subunits: Size heterogeneity and developmental changes

T. Ikuta, A. Yoshida

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22 Scopus citations


Human alcohol dehydrogenase consists of three types of subunits (α, β, and γ) which are governed by three separate loci. mRNA components for the three subunits were examined by Northern blot hybridization, using a common cDNA probe and specific oligonucleotide probes. A marked size heterogeneity of β mRNA, ranging from 1.6 kb to 5.2 kb (of which the 2.4-kb and 3.5-kb were major), was observed in the adult liver. The mRNA for the γ subunit was homogeneous (about 1.6 kb), and that for the α subunit contained a major 1.6-kb and a minor 4.3-kb component. The amount of mRNA was much lower (∼10% of adult) and the mRNA was less heterogeneous in the infant liver; i.e., an α mRNA (1.6 kb) and two β mRNAs (a major 1.6 kb and a minor 3.5 kb), and no detectable γ mRNA. The short β mRNA, with 1.6 kb, could not be hybridized with a non-coding cDNA fragment that originated from the 3′-end of the 2.6 kb β cDNA. The observed multiple ADH mRNAs, with a common coding region and different 3′-untranslated regions, are generated by utilization of multiple polyadenylation signals. The selection of polyadenylation signals and the rate of transcription of the three ADH loci are developmentally regulated. The 4.3-kb-long mRNA, which was hybridized with both α- and β-specific probes, could be related to the previously cloned "fused β-α" cDNA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1020-1027
Number of pages8
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 14 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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