We have identified and isolated ectopically expressed tyrosinase transcripts in normal human melanocytes and lymphocytes and in a human melanoma (MNT-1) cell line to establish a baseline for the expression pattern of this gene in normal tissue. Tyrosinase mRNA from human lymphoblastoid cell lines was reverse transcribed and amplified using specific “nested” primers. This amplification yielded eight identifiable transcripts; five that resulted from alternative splicing patterns arising from the utilization of normal and alternative splice sequences. Identical splicing patterns were found in transcripts from human primary melanocytes in culture and a melanoma cell line, indicating that lymphoblastoid cell lines provide an accurate reflection of transcript processing in melanocytes. Similar splicing patterns have also been found with murine melanocyte tyrosinase transcripts. Our results demonstrate that alternative splicing of human tyrosinase gene transcript produces a number of predictable and identifiable transcripts, and that human lymphoblastoid cell lines provide a source of ectopically expressed transcripts that can be used to study the biology of tyrosinase gene expression in humans.
- Ectopic expression
- Lymphoblastoid cell line