Htra2-beta is a human homologue of Drosophila transformer-2 and a member of the SR-like protein family. Here we report the isolation and characterization of the complete htra2-beta gene (HGMW-approved symbol SFRS10). The gene spans 21,232 bp and is composed of 10 exons and 9 introns. Radiation hybrid mapping localized the gene to chromosome 3q. The region upstream of the transcription initiation codon contains an Alu element and several potential transcription factor binding sites. RT-PCR and comparison with EST clones revealed five different RNA isoforms generated by alternative splicing. These isoforms encode three diverging open reading frames, and two of these, htra2-beta3 and htra2-beta4, lack the first SR domain. Htra2-beta3 is developmentally regulated and expressed predominantly in brain, liver testis, and weakly in kidney. Furthermore, the domain structure of htra2-beta3 resembles a variant found in the Drosophila male germline, indicating a remarkable conservation of alternative transformer-2 variants. Finally, we show that htra2-beta3 is expressed in the nucleus and interacts with a subset of SR proteins in a yeast two-hybrid system and in vivo.
Copyright 1998 Academic Press.