ORP3 Splice Variants and Their Expression in Human Tissues and Hematopoietic Cells Academic Article uri icon


  • ORP3 is a member of the newly described family of oxysterol-binding protein (OSBP)-related proteins (ORPs). We previously demonstrated that this gene is highly expressed in CD34(+) hematopoietic progenitor cells, and deduced that the "full-length" ORP3 gene comprises 23 exons and encodes a predicted protein of 887 amino acids with a C-terminal OSBP domain and an N-terminal pleckstrin homology domain. To further characterize the gene, we cloned ORP3 cDNA from PCR products and identified multiple splice variants. A total of eight isoforms were demonstrated with alternative splicing of exons 9, 12, and 15. Isoforms with an extension to exon 15 truncate the OSBP domain of the predicted protein sequence. In human tissues there was specific isoform distribution, with most tissues expressing varied levels of isoforms with the complete OSBP domain; while only whole brain, kidney, spleen, thymus, and thyroid expressed high levels of the isoforms associated with the truncated OSBP domain. Interestingly, the expression in cerebellum, heart, and liver of most isoforms was negligible. These data suggest that differential mRNA splicing may have resulted in functionally distinct forms of the ORP3 gene.

publication date

  • January 2003