Multiple transcripts of a gene for a leucine-rich repeat receptor kinase from morning glory (Ipomoea nil) originate from different TATA boxes in a tissue-specific manner
A gene (inrpk1) encoding a putative receptor-like protein kinase was isolated from the Japanese morning glory, Ipomoea (Pharbitis) nil Roth. cv. Violet. The receptor-like portion of the largest derived polypeptide contains 26 direct leucine-rich repeats (LRRs) in a single block, and the catalytic portion has all the conserved amino acid residues characteristic of Ser/Thr protein kinases. RNA blot analysis detected multiple transcripts in cotyledons. The largest (4.4 kb) transcript encodes the predicted full length polypeptide (INRPK1), whereas a 1.6 kb transcript apparently originates from a secondary transcription initiation site within the gene and potentially encodes a protein kinase identical to INRPK1, but lacking most of the LRRs. Two transcripts (ca. 2.7 and 2.6 kb) are created by alternative 3′-splicing of a large (ca. 1.4–1.5 kb) cryptic intron in the LRR region, creating one transcript (2.6 kb) potentially encoding a small, secretable polypeptide. The larger transcript encoding a polypeptide identical to INRPK1, but lacking 21 LRRs, predominates in vegetative roots. Competitive PCR indicates that inrpk1 mRNA increases 20-fold in cotyledons in response to a previously given single floral-inducing short-day (SD). No differences of this magnitude were detected in any other organs examined from plants similarly treated. This pattern of expression and differential processing suggests a role for inrpk1 in some aspect of SD photoperiodic-induced flowering in morning glory.