Recognition of polyubiquitinated substrates by the 26S proteasome is a key step in the selective degradation of various cellular proteins. The Rpn10 subunit of the 26S proteasome can bind polyubiquitin conjugates in vitro.We have previously reported the unique diversity of Rpn10, which differs from other multiple proteasome subunits, and that the mouse Rpn10 mRNA family is generated from a single gene by developmentally regulated alternative splicing. To determine whether such alternative splicing mechanisms occur in other species, we searched for Rpn10 isoforms in databases and in our original PCR products. Here we report the genomic organization of the Rpn10 gene in lower vertebrates and provide evidence for the competent generation of distinct forms of Rpn10 by alternative splicing through evolution.
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