Analysis of tyrosine hydroxylase and insulin transcripts in human neuroendocrine tissues

George T. Coker, Dan Studelska, Steve Harmon, William Burke, Karen L. O'Malley

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89 Scopus citations


We have previously shown that the mRNA for human tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) exists in one of 4 forms as a result of alternative splicing of intron 1. In order to determine the tissue-specific expression of the multiple human transcripts we have utilized specifically primed polymerase chain reactions (PCR) in combination with reverse-transcribed RNA. Using PCR analysis we determined that many human neuronal tissues express all 4 forms of human TH (hTH-1-4); however, hTH-3 and -4 are generally expressed at less than 1% of the other two. Of all tissues examined, only pancreatic β-islet cells expressed a single form of human TH mRNA (hTH-2). The mRNA for rat TH is present in only one form, the equivalent of hTH-1. Since we have shown that the human genes for TH and insulin are only 2.7 kb apart and several groups have reported insulin-like expression in neuronal tissues, we looked for insulin transcription in the same central and peripheral nervous system samples. Insulin mRNA was not present within the limits of detection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-98
Number of pages6
JournalMolecular Brain Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 1990


  • Alternative splicing
  • Human
  • Insulin
  • Messenger ribonucleic acid
  • Polymerase chain reaction
  • Tyrosine hydroxylase
  • β-Islet


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