Characterization of mRNA transcripts and organization of human SP-A1 and SP-A2 genes

S. M. McCormick, V. Boggaram, C. R. Mendelson

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32 Scopus citations


In the present study, we have characterized the mRNA transcripts and intron-exon organization of the human surfactant protein (SP)A1 and SP-A2 genes. By primer extension analysis of mRNA isolated from human fetal lung explants using an oligonucleotide primer to exon II (as delineated in the SP- A1 gene), a minimum of nine primer extended transcripts was observed. Rapid amplification of cDNA ends was used to amplify the primer extended transcripts for sequence analysis. Sequence analysis of 47 full-length primer extended cDNAs and comparison with the sequences of the genes encoding SP-A1 and SP-A2 revealed four different classes of transcripts of the SP-A2 gene and five different classes of transcripts of the gene encoding SP-A1. A major difference between SP-A2 and SP-A1 mRNA transcripts is that SP-A2 transcripts are always comprised of sequences contained within six exons; the extra exon in SP-A2 (exon II of VI) encodes additional 5'-untranslated sequence and is located between exons I and II of SP-A1. By contrast, the majority of transcripts of the SP-A1 gene are comprised of sequences contained within five exons. In the cases of both SP-A1 and SP-A2 genes, a small proportion of the mRNA transcripts contain sequences present in alternate exons. In addition, the majority of the SP-A1 mRNA transcripts are initiated 5 bp downstream of the transcription initiation site of SP-A2. In our companion paper [McCormick and Mendelson. Am. J. Physiol. 266 (Lung Cell. Mol. Physiol. 10): L367-L374, 1994], we report that the SP-A1 and SP-A2 genes are differentially regulated during development and by adenosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate and glucocorticoids in human fetal lung in culture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L354-L366
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Issue number4 10-4
StatePublished - 1994


  • human
  • intron-exon organization
  • messenger ribonucleic acid splicing
  • messenger ribonucleic acid transcripts
  • primer extension
  • surfactant protein A1 gene
  • surfactant protein A2 gene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cell Biology


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