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Keywords:

  • alternative isoforms;
  • alternative splicing;
  • kinesin;
  • kinesin light chain;
  • multiple transcripts

Conventional kinesin is a microtubule-based molecular motor involved in the transport of membranous and non-membranous cargoes. The kinesin holoenzyme exists as a heterotetramer, consisting of two heavy chain and two light chain subunits. It is thought that one function of the light chains is to interact with the cargo. Alternative splicing of kinesin light chain pre-mRNA has been observed in lower organisms, although evidence for alternative splicing of the human gene has not been reported. We have identified 19 variants of the human KNS2 gene (KLC1) that are generated by alternative splicing of downstream exons, but calculate that KNS2 has the potential to produce 285 919 spliceforms. Corresponding spliceforms of the mouse KLC1 gene were also identified. The alternative exons are all located 3′ of exon 12 and the novel spliceforms produce both alternative carboxy termini and alternative 3′ untranslated regions. The observation of multiple light chain isoforms is consistent with their proposed role in specific cargo attachment.