Radiation-induced gene expression was examined in rat astrocyte cultures using differential display of mRNA via reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction. A 0.3-kb cDNA that was consistently observed in irradiated cultures but not in unirradiated cultures was cloned and sequenced. It was found to be identical to Ptk-3, a receptor tyrosine kinase gene identified recently. The protein encoded by Ptk-3 is a member of a novel class of receptor tyrosine kinases whose extracellular domain contains regions of homology with coagulation factors V and VIII and complement component C1. Northern blot analysis revealed that the expression of Ptk-3 was increased in rat astrocytes by 0.5 h after exposure to 10 Gy and remained at the same elevated level for at least 24 h. The maximum increase occurred after 5 Gy. Cloning studies indicated the presence of at least two Ptk-3 mRNA transcripts, which are probably the result of an alternative splicing mechanism. The short isoform lacks a 37-amino acid sequence in the glycine/proline-rich juxtamembrane region. The splicing pattern of the Ptk-3 gene was not altered by radiation. However, the ratios of the longer to the shorter mRNA transcripts differed between adult cortex, neonatal cortex and in vitro astrocyte cultures.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging