The human basonuclin 2 gene has the potential to generate nearly 90,000 mRNA isoforms encoding over 2000 different proteins

Genomics. 2007 Jan;89(1):44-58. doi: 10.1016/j.ygeno.2006.07.006. Epub 2006 Aug 30.


The number of mRNAs and proteins that can be produced from a single gene is known to be increased by the number of start sites and by multiple splicing of products. A few genes have been found to generate extraordinarily large numbers of splicing isoforms. In the human, the largest number, nearly 2000 mRNA isoforms, has been reported for the neurexin 3alpha gene. However, the biological significance of alternative splicing often remains unclear because many alternative transcripts contain early translational stops and are thought to be rapidly degraded. We demonstrate here that human basonuclin 2 (bn2; approved gene symbol BNC2) transcripts are initiated from six promoters, are alternatively spliced at multiple positions, and are polyadenylated at four sites. Characterization of nearly 100 bn2 mRNA isoforms suggests that each promoter, splice site, and poly(A) addition site is used independently. The bn2 gene has therefore the potential to generate up to 90,000 mRNA isoforms encoding more than 2000 different proteins. Because alternative exons affect the position of the first methionine codon, the length of the coding region, and the position of the translational stop, the encoded proteins range in size from 43 to 1211 amino acids and some bear no sequence similarity to others. PCR analysis and transient expression in HeLa cells show that the major bn2 mRNA isoforms are stable and are translated into equally stable proteins, even when the mRNA bears an early translational stop.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alternative Splicing*
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • CpG Islands
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics*
  • Exons
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nuclear Localization Signals / genetics
  • Polyadenylation
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Protein Biosynthesis
  • Protein Isoforms / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics*
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid
  • Species Specificity
  • TATA Box
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Zinc Fingers / genetics


  • BNC2 protein, human
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Nuclear Localization Signals
  • Protein Isoforms
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Transcription Factors
  • BNC1 protein, human

Associated data

  • GENBANK/DQ884933
  • GENBANK/DQ884934
  • GENBANK/DQ884935
  • GENBANK/DQ884936
  • GENBANK/DQ884937
  • GENBANK/DQ884938
  • GENBANK/DQ884939
  • GENBANK/DQ884940
  • GENBANK/DQ884941
  • GENBANK/DQ884942
  • GENBANK/DQ884943
  • GENBANK/DQ884944
  • GENBANK/DQ884945
  • GENBANK/DQ884946
  • GENBANK/DQ884947
  • GENBANK/DQ884948