Complex structure and regulation of the ABP/SHBG gene.
Extracellular androgen-binding proteins (ABPs) are thought to modulate the regulatory functions of androgens and the trans-acting nuclear androgen receptor. Testicular ABP and plasma sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), which is produced in the liver, are encoded by the same gene. We report here that the ABP/SHBG gene is also expressed in fetal rat liver and adult brain. Immunoreactive ABP was localized in the brain and fetal liver and mRNAs were identified in both tissues by northern blot hybridization. Analysis of brain and fetal liver cDNA clones revealed alternatively processed RNAs with sequence characteristics suggesting the encoded proteins could act as competitors of ABP/SHBG binding to cell surface receptors. One cDNA represented a fused transcript of the ABP/SHBG gene and the histidine decarboxylase gene that was apparently formed by a trans-splicing process. Gene sequencing experiments indicate that tissue-specific ABP/SHBG gene promoter-enhancer elements are utilized in testis, brain and fetal liver. These data demonstrate that the structure, RNA transcript processing and likely regulation of the ABP/SHBG gene are very complex.
Joseph, DR; Sullivan, PM; Wang, YM; Millhorn, DE; Bayliss, DM
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