General and Comparative Endocrinology vol:156 issue:3 pages:460-3
We previously described the cloning of the full-length chicken thyrotropin receptor (TSHRa) and two splice variants, lacking exon 3 (TSHRb) or both exons 2 and 3 (TSHRc). Here we report the identification of three novel splice variants of the chicken TSHR, named TSHRd, -e and -f, differing in their C-terminal region and containing unique exonic sequences that are not present in the other TSHR variants. This finding suggests a TSHR gene structure with 13 rather than the previously assumed 10 exons. The three novel exons appear to be chicken-specific, as no equivalents of these exons were found in other vertebrate genomes. Like the full-length receptor, the five TSHR splice variants are most abundantly expressed in thyroid gland. TSHRb, -d, -e and -f mRNA was also present in virtually all extra-thyroidal tissues expressing TSHRa, whereas TSHRc shows a more restricted tissue distribution. Whether these receptor transcripts are translated to functional proteins needs to be verified, but if so, they could be attributed various physiological roles.