Distinct expression profiles of Mecp2 transcripts with different lengths of 3'UTR in the brain and visceral organs during mouse development

Genomics. 2005 Apr;85(4):441-52. doi: 10.1016/j.ygeno.2004.12.002.


Four different transcripts of the Mecp2 gene can be distinguished by the length of the 3' untranslated region generated by usage of alternative polyadenylation sites. In situ hybridization analyses encompassing embryonic to 20-week postnatal age showed that transcripts are expressed in the central nervous system, with a progressive restriction during development culminating in localized strong expression in the cerebral cortex, olfactory bulb, hippocampal formation, and internal granule and Purkinje layer of the cerebellum. Real-time RT-PCR measurements of Mecp2 transcript levels showed variations with mouse age in two distinctive patterns that are unique to the central nervous system and the visceral organs, respectively. The 10-kb mRNA is the predominant form expressed in the brain in contrast to the shorter species expressed in the lung and liver. The developmental profile of Mecp2 mRNA highlights a potential tissue-specific function of the 3'UTR in the regulation of MeCP2 protein synthesis in response to the age-specific requirement of MeCP2 function during the life of the mouse.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 3' Untranslated Regions / genetics*
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Brain / embryology*
  • Brain / growth & development
  • Brain Chemistry
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone / genetics*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics*
  • Embryonic Development / genetics
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Methyl-CpG-Binding Protein 2
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Polyadenylation
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Repressor Proteins / genetics*
  • Rett Syndrome / genetics
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Viscera / embryology
  • Viscera / growth & development


  • 3' Untranslated Regions
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Mecp2 protein, mouse
  • Methyl-CpG-Binding Protein 2
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Repressor Proteins