Isolation and characterization of alternativelyspliced variants of the mouse sigma1 receptor gene, Sigmar1

Ling Pan, David A. Pasternak, Jin Xu, Mingming Xu, Zhigang Lu, Gavril W. Pasternak, Ying Xian Pan

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7 Scopus citations


The sigma1 receptor acts as a chaperone at the endoplasmic reticulum, associates with multiple proteins in various cellular systems, and involves in a number of diseases, such as addiction, pain, cancer and psychiatric disorders. The sigma1 receptor is encoded by the single copy SIGMAR1 gene. The current study identifies five alternatively spliced variants of the mouse sigma1 receptor gene using a polymerase chain reaction cloning approach. All the splice variants are generated by exon skipping or alternative 3' or 5' splicing, producing the truncated sigma1 receptor. Similar alternative splicing has been observed in the human SIGMAR1 gene based on the molecular cloning or genome sequence prediction, suggesting conservation of alternative splicing of SIGMAR1 gene. Using quantitative polymerase chain reactions, we demonstrate differential expression of several splice variants in mouse tissues and brain regions. When expressed in HEK293 cells, all the splice variants fail to bind sigma ligands, implicating that each truncated region in these splice variants is important for ligand binding. However, co-immunoprecipitation (Co-IP) study in HEK293 cells cotransfected with tagged constructs reveals that all the splice variants maintain their ability to physically associate with a mu opioid receptor (mMOR-1), providing useful information to correlate the motifs/sequences necessary for their physical association. Furthermore, acompetition Co-IP study showed that all the variants can disrupt in a dose-dependent manner the dimerization of the original sigma1 receptor with mMOR-1, suggesting a potential dominant negative function and providing significant insights into their function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0174694
JournalPloS one
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2017
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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