Short tandem repeats are associated with diverse mRNAs encoding membrane-targeted proteins.
Riley DE, Krieger JN
BioEssays (2004)
Category: gene expression, protein transport, translation ¤ Added: Aug 22, 2004 ¤ Rating: ◊◊
Within the genomes of multicellular organisms, short tandem repeating sequences (STRs) are ubiquitous, yet usage patterns remain obscure. The repeats (AC)n and (GU)n appear frequently in the untranslated regions (UTRs) of messenger RNAs (mRNAs). To investigate STR usage patterns, we used three approaches: (1) comparisons of individual mRNA database sequences including annotations and linked references, (2) statistical analysis of complete, UTR databases and (3) study of a large gene family, the aquaporins. Among 500 (AC)n- or (GU)n-containing mRNAs, 58 (12%) had known functions. Of these, 50 (86%) encoded proteins whose activities involved membranes or lipids, including integral membrane proteins, peripheral membrane proteins, ion channels, lipid enzymes, receptors and secreted proteins. A control sequence (AU)n also occurred in mRNAs, but only 5% encoded membrane-related functions. Investigation of all reported 3' UTR sequences, demonstrated that the STR (AC)n was 9 times more common in mRNAs encoding membrane functions than in the total UTR database (P < 0.001). Similarly, (GU)n was 8 times more common in membrane-function mRNAs than in the total database (P < 0.001). These observations suggest that (AC)n and (GU)n may be UTR signals for some mRNAs encoding membrane-targeted proteins.