Expression analysis of glycogen synthase kinase-3 in human tissues

J Pept Res. 1999 Jul;54(1):85-91. doi: 10.1034/j.1399-3011.1999.00083.x.


Human glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3) is a multisubstrate, proline-directed kinase that phosphorylates tau, beta-amyloid and neurofilaments. In this study, the expression levels of the two GSK-3 isoforms, alpha and beta, RNA and proteins in different human tissues were examined. Northern analysis demonstrated that GSK-3alpha is encoded by a 2.6-kb mRNA and GSK-3beta by 8.3- and 2.8-kb mRNAs. The two GSK-3beta mRNA species were variably expressed in different tissues. Northern and quantitative polymerase chain reaction demonstrated that both GSK-3alpha and GSK-3beta mRNA were prominently expressed in testis, thymus, prostate and ovary but were low in adult lung and kidney. Western blot analysis showed that the 51-kDa GSK-3alpha protein was highly expressed in lung, ovary, kidney and testis, whereas the 46-kDa GSK-3beta protein was highly expressed in lung, kidney and brain. The differential expression of GSK-3alpha and GSK-3beta mRNA and proteins and the lack of relationship between transcription and translation in some tissues indicate that GSK-3alpha and GSK-3beta are subject to different means of regulation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Base Sequence
  • Blotting, Western
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinases / genetics*
  • DNA Primers
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic*
  • Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3
  • Glycogen Synthase Kinases
  • Humans
  • Isoenzymes / genetics*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics


  • DNA Primers
  • Isoenzymes
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Glycogen Synthase Kinases
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinases
  • Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3