Identification and characterization of the alternatively spliced nuclear receptor coactivator-6 isoforms

Int J Biol Sci. 2011 Apr 19;7(5):505-16. doi: 10.7150/ijbs.7.505.


The nuclear receptor coactivator-6 (NCOA6, AIB3, PRIP, ASC-2, TRBP, RAP250 or NRC) is a co-activator for nuclear hormone receptors and certain other transcription factors. NCOA6 plays an important role in embryonic development, adipocyte differentiation, metabolism and breast carcinogenesis. The human and mouse NCOA6 genes had 15 and 14 previously identified exons, respectively. This study further identified an alternatively spliced exon 11b (E11b) in human or E10b in mouse, which codes a short polypeptide and a Stop codon, resulting in splicing variants lacking the last four exon-coded polypeptide. Analyses of mouse testis NCOA6 mRNAs identified four alternatively spliced variants, NCOA6-α (without E10b), -β (without E10a and E10b), -γ (with E10a and E10b) and -δ (without E10a but with E10b). These isoforms were detected in multiple mouse tissues and in MDA-MB-435 human cells. NCOA6-α and -β are mainly located in the nucleus; NCOA6-γ is located in both cytoplasm and nucleus; and NCOA6-δ is mainly located in mitochondria. The C-terminus coded by the last four exons was responsible for locating NCOA6-α and -β into the nucleus. The human E11a or mouse E10a-coded region is responsible for distributing NCOA6-γ in both cytoplasm and nucleus, while the region coded by E8-E9 in human or E7-E8 in mouse is responsible for directing NCOA6-δ to mitochondria. Our assays also demonstrated that NCOA6-α and -β could significantly enhance estrogen receptor α-mediated transcription, but NCOA6-γ and -δ were unable to do so. These results suggest that the diverse physiological function of NCOA6 may be mediated by multiple isoforms expressed in different tissues and localized in different subcellular compartments.

Keywords: NCOA6; nuclear receptor coactivator-6.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Alternative Splicing*
  • Animals
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Nuclear Receptor Coactivators / genetics*
  • Nuclear Receptor Coactivators / metabolism
  • Protein Isoforms / genetics
  • Protein Isoforms / metabolism
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Receptors, Estrogen / metabolism
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Transcriptional Activation


  • NCOA6 protein, human
  • Ncoa6 protein, mouse
  • Nuclear Receptor Coactivators
  • Protein Isoforms
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, Estrogen