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Identification of alternatively spliced Dab1 and Fyn isoforms in pig

Huan Long12, Hans H Bock34, Ting Lei1, Xuejun Chai2, Jihong Yuan1, Joachim Herz45, Michael Frotscher24 and Zaiqing Yang1*

Author Affiliations

1 Key Laboratory of Agricultural Animal Genetics, Breeding and Reproduction of Ministry of Education, College of Life Science and Technology, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, 430070, PR China

2 Institute of Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany

3 Department of Medicine 2, University Hospital Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany

4 Center for Neurosciences, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany

5 Department of Molecular Genetics, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas, USA

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BMC Neuroscience 2011, 12:17  doi:10.1186/1471-2202-12-17

Published: 5 February 2011



Disabled-1 (Dab1) is an adaptor protein that is essential for the intracellular transduction of Reelin signaling, which regulates the migration and differentiation of postmitotic neurons during brain development in vertebrates. Dab1 function depends on its tyrosine phosphorylation by Src family kinases, especially Fyn.


We have isolated alternatively spliced forms of porcine Dab1 from brain (sDab1) and liver (sDab1-Li) and Fyn from brain (sFyn-B) and spleen (sFyn-T). Radiation hybrid mapping localized porcine Dab1 (sDab1) and Fyn (sFyn) to chromosomes 6q31-35 and 1p13, respectively. Real-time quantitative RT-PCR (qRT-PCR) demonstrated that different isoforms of Dab1 and Fyn have tissue-specific expression patterns, and sDab1 and sFyn-B display similar temporal expression characteristics in the developing porcine cerebral cortex and cerebellum. Both sDab1 isoforms function as nucleocytoplasmic shuttling proteins. It was further shown that sFyn phosphorylates sDab1 at tyrosyl residues (Tyr) 185, 198/200 and 232, whereas sDab1-Li was phosphorylated at Tyr 185 and Tyr 197 (corresponding to Y232 in sDab1) in vitro.


Alternative splicing generates natural sDab1-Li that only carries Y185 and Y197 (corresponding to Y232 in sDab1) sites, which can be phosphorylated by Fyn in vitro. sDab1-Li is an isoform that is highly expressed in peripheral organs. Both isoforms are suggested to be nucleocytoplasmic shuttling proteins. Our results imply that the short splice form sDab1-Li might regulate cellular responses to different cell signals by acting as a dominant negative form against the full length sDab1 variant and that both isoforms might serve different signaling functions in different tissues.