Open Access Research article

Identification and expression analysis of splice variants of mouse enabled homologue during development and in adult tissues

Sylvie Veniere12, Davy Waterschoot12, Joël Vandekerckhove12, Anja Lambrechts12 and Christophe Ampe12*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Medical Protein Research, VIB, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium

2 Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Ghent University, Albert Baertsoenkaai 3, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium

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BMC Molecular Biology 2010, 11:45  doi:10.1186/1471-2199-11-45

Published: 17 June 2010



The Enabled/Vasodilator stimulated phosphoprotein (Ena/VASP) gene family comprises three genes in vertebrates: Vasp, Enabled homologue (Enah) and Ena-VASP like (Evl). Enah has the most complex gene structure. It has extra alternatively included exons compared to Vasp and Evl, and possibly one alternatively excluded intron S. The aim of this mapping study was to probe the occurrence of combinations of exon usage in Enah thereby identifying possible vertebrate ENAH splice variants. We investigated this via an in silico analysis and by performing a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) screen on mouse samples. We further probed the expression pattern of mouse Enah splice variants during development and in a selection of mouse adult tissues and mouse cell lines.


In silico analysis of the vertebrate Ena/VASP gene family reveals that birds do not have Vasp, while fish have two Evl genes. Analysis of expressed sequence tags of vertebrate Enah splice variants confirms that an Enah transcript without alternative exons is ubiquitously expressed, but yields only limited information about the existence of other possible alternatively spliced Enah transcripts. Via a RT-PCR screen, we provide evidence that during mouse development and in adult mice at least eight and maximally sixteen different Enah transcripts are expressed. We also show that tissues and cell lines display specific expression profiles of these different transcripts. Exons previously associated with neuronal expression of Enah splice variants are also present in other tissues, in particular in heart.


We propose a more uniform nomenclature for alternative exons in Enah. We provide an overview of distinct expression profiles of mouse Enah splice variants during mouse development, in adult mouse tissues and in a subset of mouse cell lines.