Making sense of the multiple MAP-2 transcripts and their role in the neuron
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- Shafit-Zagardo, B. & Kalcheva, N. Mol Neurobiol (1998) 16: 149. doi:10.1007/BF02740642
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Microtubule-associated protein-2 (MAP-2) is a family of heat-stable, phosphoproteins expressed predominantly in the cell body and dendrites of neurons. Three major MAP-2 isoforms, (MAP-2a, MAP-2b, MAP-2c) are differentially expressed during the development of the nervous system and have an important role in microtubule dynamics. Several MAP-2 cDNA clones that correspond to the major MAP-2 transcripts and additional, novel MAP-2 transcripts expressed in the CNS and PNS have been characterized. The transcripts result from the alternative splicing of a single MAP-2 gene consisting of 20 exons. Studies are now being directed toward understanding the role of the multiple MAP-2 forms that contain novel exons in the nervous system. The expression, localization, and possible functions of the newly identified spliced forms are the focus of this review.