Neurexins, a family of cell surface proteins specific to brain, are transcribed from two promoters in three genes, resulting in three α- and three β-neurexins. In situ hybridization revealed differential but overlapping distributions of neurexin isoforms in different classes of neurons. PCRs demonstrated that a-neurexins are alternatively spliced at five canonical positions, and β-neurexins at two. Characterization of many independent bovine neurexin lα cDNAs suggests that different splice sites are used independently. This creates the potential to express more than 1000 distinct neurexin proteins in brain. The splicing pattern is conserved in rat and cow. Thus, in addition to somatic gene rearrangements (immunoglobulins and T cell receptors) and large gene families (odorant receptors), alternative splicing potentially represents a third mechanism for creating a large number of cell surface receptors that are expressed by specific subsets of cells. © 1995.
Ullrich, B., Ushkaryov, Y. A., & Südhof, T. C. (1995). Cartography of neurexins: More than 1000 isoforms generated by alternative splicing and expressed in distinct subsets of neurons. Neuron, 14(3), 497–507. https://doi.org/10.1016/0896-6273(95)90306-2