It has been reported that several mRNA isoforms of tyrosine 3-monooxygenase (tyrosine hydroxylase; TH) occur only in primates. New TH isoforms produced by skipping of exon 3 in the adrenal medulla of patients with progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) have recently been reported, J. Neurochem. 67 (1996) 19. Here, we looked for the presence of new TH isoforms in control brains and adrenal medulla and in brains from patients with PSP. We found a novel type of TH mRNA in the adrenal medulla from one of the control subjects. The mRNA lacked exon 4, resulting in a premature stop codon at amino acid 147. This result suggests the importance of alternative splicing in the regulation of TH activity.
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