Section 11
Chapter 10,150

Alternative RNA splicing generates a glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored form of ceruloplasmin in mammalian brain

Patel, B.N.; Dunn, R.J.; David, S.

Journal of Biological Chemistry 275(6): 4305-4310


ISSN/ISBN: 0021-9258
PMID: 10660599
DOI: 10.1074/jbc.275.6.4305
Accession: 010149436

Ceruloplasmin is a copper-containing ferroxidase that is essential for normal iron homeostasis. Whereas ceruloplasmin in plasma is produced and secreted by hepatocytes, in the brain a glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored form of ceruloplasmin is expressed on the surface of astrocytes. By using a cDNA cloning approach, we have now determined that the GPI-anchored form of ceruloplasmin is generated by alternative RNA splicing. The splicing occurs downstream of exon 18 and replaces the C-terminal 5 amino acids of the secreted form with an alternative 30 amino acids that signal GPI anchor addition. RNase protection analysis demonstrates that the GPI-anchored form is the major form in the brain, whereas the secreted form predominates in the liver. Individuals with aceruloplasminemia, a hereditary deficiency of ceruloplasmin, have severe iron deposition in a number of organs, including the brain where it results in neurodegeneration. Therefore, this novel GPI-anchored form of ceruloplasmin is likely to play an important role in iron metabolism in the central nervous system.

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