Glutamic acid decarboxylase 1 alternative splicing isoforms: Characterization, expression and quantification in the mouse brain

Stefan Trifonov, Yuji Yamashita, Masahiko Kase, Masato Maruyama, Tetsuo Sugimoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Background: GABA has important functions in brain plasticity related processes like memory, learning, locomotion and during the development of the nervous system. It is synthesized by the glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD). There are two isoforms of GAD, GAD1 and GAD2, which are encoded by different genes. During embryonic development the transcription of GAD1 mRNA is regulated by alternative splicing and several alternative transcripts were distinguished in human, mouse and rat. Despite the fact that the structure of GAD1 gene has been extensively studied, knowledge of its exact structural organization, alternative promoter usage and splicing have remained incomplete. Results: In the present study we report the identification and characterization of novel GAD1 splicing isoforms (GenBank: KM102984, KM102985) by analyzing genomic and mRNA sequence data using bioinformatics, cloning and sequencing. Ten mRNA isoforms are generated from GAD1 gene locus by the combined actions of utilizing different promoters and alternative splicing of the coding exons. Using RT-PCR we found that GAD1 isoforms share similar pattern of expression in different mouse tissues and are expressed early during development. Quantitative RT-PCR was used to investigate the expression of GAD1 isoforms and GAD2 in olfactory bulb, cortex, medial and lateral striatum, hippocampus and cerebellum of adult mouse. Olfactory bulb showed the highest expression of GAD1 transcripts. Isoforms 1/2 are the most abundant forms. Their expression is significantly higher in the lateral compared to the medial striatum. Isoforms 3/4, 5/6, 7/8 and 9/10 are barely detectable in all investigated regions except of the high expression in olfactory bulb. When comparing GAD1 expression with GAD2 we found that Isoforms 1/2 are the predominant isoforms. In situ hybridization confirmed the predominant expression of Isoforms 7/8 and 9/10 in the olfactory bulb and revealed their weak expression in hippocampus, cerebellum and some other areas known to express GAD1. Conclusions: Generation of ten splicing isoforms of GAD1 was described including two so far uncharacterized transcripts. GAD1 splicing isoforms producing the shorter, enzymatically inactive GAD25 protein are expressed at very low level in adult mouse brain except in the olfactory bulb that is associated with neurogenesis and synaptic plasticity even during adulthood.

Original languageEnglish
Article number114
JournalBMC Neuroscience
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Oct 16 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Alternative splicing
  • GAD1
  • GAD2
  • In situ hybridization
  • Quantitative RT-PCR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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