Developmental Hypothyroxinemia and Hypothyroidism Reduce Parallel Fiber–Purkinje Cell Synapses in Rat Offspring by Downregulation of Neurexin1/Cbln1/GluD2 Tripartite Complex
Precerebellin-1 (Cbln1) is a cerebellum-specific protein that shares significant sequence identity with the globular domains of the complement components C1qA, B and C, suggesting some common aspects of function and/or structure. As the C1q complex is composed of heterotrimers of C1qA, B and C it was hypothesized that multiple precerebellins may exist in a ternary complex. Northern blotting for cbln1 revealed multiple bands that could represent further family members or alternatively spliced variants. To discriminate these alternatives, probes derived from different regions of the cbln1 gene were used to identify and clone the transcripts detected on Northern blots. Four independent transcripts were repeatedly cloned from an adult mouse cerebellum cDNA library. Upon sequencing, all of these clones were found to be derived from the cbln1 gene and no additional precerebellin-related genes were isolated. Moreover, these clones accounted for the four cbln1-hybridizing bands (1.9, 2. 2, 3.2 and 5.5 kb) detected on Northern blots of adult cerebellum RNA. With one possible exception, these clones were all derived through alterations in the 3'-untranslated region (3'-UTR) of cbln1 that did not affect the coding sequence. This was achieved by the use of two polyadenylation sites and alternative (non-canonical) splicing in the 3'-UTR. Some additional variation in mRNA structure is provided by the use of alternative transcription start sites in cbln1. The possible significance of this level of diversity in the 3'-UTR is discussed.