The rat GnRH gene as expressed in the central nervous system is comprised of four exons and three introns and spans 4.5 kilobases of genomic DNA. Recently it has been shown that the DNA strand opposite that which is transcribed to produce GnRH mRNA is transcribed in heart to produce a set of transcripts, SH RNAs, which share significant exonic sequences with the GnRH gene. The nucleotide sequence of this locus and approximately 3 kilobases on either side has been determined. Northern analysis of hypothalamic RNA probed with GnRH and SH strand specific probes demonstrate that both GnRH and SH RNAs are present within the preoptic hypothalamus. The cap sites for GnRH and SH transcripts have been localized using polymerase chain reaction technology. Results from these experiments indicate that in the preoptic hypothalamus GnRH transcription initiates from three sites. The majority of GnRH transcripts is spliced efficiently and gives rise to the major class of GnRH mRNA. A second spliced population is present in lower abundance, while a third population is not spliced. The SH gene contains at least two distinct promoters, from which two populations of transcripts are derived containing unique 5′-sequences spliced to a common 3′-region.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology