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, 13 (19), 4617-22

Low Cytoplasmic mRNA Levels of Immunoglobulin Kappa Light Chain Genes Containing Nonsense Codons Correlate With Inefficient Splicing

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Low Cytoplasmic mRNA Levels of Immunoglobulin Kappa Light Chain Genes Containing Nonsense Codons Correlate With Inefficient Splicing

F Lozano et al. EMBO J.

Abstract

We have previously reported down-regulation of mRNA expression of some of the kappa light chain transgenes in a hybridoma derived from a secondary immune response. Of the five heavily mutated transgene copies present in that hybridoma, three included premature stop codons and were poorly represented at the mRNA level. Here we show that the nonsense mutations are the cause of the low mRNA levels. While we found no evidence that the reduction in mRNA abundance was attributable to an increased rate of cytoplasmic mRNA decay, the amount of cytoplasmic mRNA correlated with the accumulation of unspliced transcripts in the nucleus. Similar results were obtained with a chimeric immunoglobulin gene containing a premature chain termination codon in the variable gene segment. We suggest that inhibition of splicing induced by in-frame premature stop codons is an important mechanism for down-regulation of undesirable immunoglobulin transcripts.

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