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Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide Gene: Putative Mechanism of Information Storage at the RNA Level


Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. I. Gozes at Department of Hormone Research, The Weizmann Institute of Science, 76100 Rehovot, Israel.


Abstract: The human gene coding for vasoactive intestinal peptide was recently isolated and shown to contain seven exons. We now demonstrate that an intron-containing precursor RNA can be the major vasoactive intestinal peptide-related RNA in the cell, which is in contrast to most known genes. By RNA blot analysis using a variety of genomic and cDNA-related probes we show that in a human tumor producing vasoactive intestinal peptide, most of the RNA encoding the peptide is of the precursor type. Similar precursor transcripts were found in total rat brain RNA as well. As proof of the identity of the intron-containing RNA, cDNA clones corresponding to this RNA sequence have been isolated.