Quantitation of Na+-K+-2Cl- cotransport splice variants in human tissues using kinetic polymerase chain reaction

Cecile Rose T Vibat, Michael J. Holland, John J. Kang, Luanna K. Putney, Martha E O'Donnell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


A kinetic reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR)-based assay is described that can discriminate and quantitate differentially spliced mRNAs. This assay should be generally applicable for high-throughput quantitation of differentially spliced transcripts. The utility of this method was assessed for spliced transcripts encoded by the human Na+-K+-2Cl- cotransporter gene hNKCC1. Evidence is presented that the NKCC1 isoform of the human Na+-K+-2Cl- cotransporter is differentially spliced analogous to that recently described for the mouse Na+-K+-2Cl- cotransporter gene BSC2. The nucleotide sequences of the two human splice variants predict Na+-K+-2Cl- cotransporter proteins differing only in length. Stable transfectants expressing these human splice variants, designated NKCC1a or NKCC1b, were constructed. Both splice variants produce functional Na+-K+-2Cl- cotransporters in vivo. The abundance of NKCC1 mRNA and patterns of differential splicing in 10 different tissue types and three cell lines were quantitated using the kRT-PCR assay. The results showed that the total amount of NKCC1 mRNA varied by more than 30-fold in the human tissues and cell lines examined. The ratio of NKCC1a/NKCC1b varied nearly 70-fold among these same tissues and cell lines suggesting that differential splicing of the NKCC1 transcript may play a regulatory role in human tissues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)218-230
Number of pages13
JournalAnalytical Biochemistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 15 2001


  • Alternative splicing
  • Brain
  • Cotransport
  • Kinetic RT-PCR
  • RNA
  • Tissue distribution
  • Trabecular meshwork

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Biophysics
  • Molecular Biology


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