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LRRN6A/LERN1 (leucine-rich repeat neuronal protein 1), a novel gene with enriched expression in limbic system and neocortex

Authors


: Dr Lauro Sumoy, as above.
E-mail: lauro.sumoy@crg.es

Abstract

Human chromosome 15q24-q26 is a very complex genomic region containing several blocks of segmental duplications to which susceptibility to anxiety disorders has been mapped (Gratacos et al., 2001, Cell, 106, 367–379; Pujana et al., 2001, Genome Res., 11, 98–111). Through an in silico gene content analysis of the 15q24-q26 region we have identifie1d a novel gene, LRRN6A (leucine-rich repeat neuronal 6A), and confirmed its location to the centromeric end of this complex region. LRRN6A encodes a transmembrane leucine-rich repeat protein, LERN1 (leucine-rich repeat neuronal protein 1), with similarity to proteins involved in axonal guidance and migration, nervous system development and regeneration processes. The identification of homologous genes to LRRN6A on chromosomes 9 and 19 and the orthologous genes in the mouse genome and other organisms suggests that LERN proteins constitute a novel subfamily of LRR (leucine-rich repeat)-containing proteins. The LRRN6A expression pattern is specific to the central nervous system, highly and broadly expressed during early stages of development and gradually restricted to forebrain structures as development proceeds. Expression level in adulthood is lower in general but remains stable and significantly enriched in the limbic system and cerebral cortex. Taken together, the confirmation of LRRN6A's expression profile, its predicted protein structure and its similarity to nervous system-expressed LRR proteins with essential roles in nervous system development and maintenance suggest that LRRN6A is a novel gene of relevance in the molecular and cellular neurobiology of vertebrates.

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