Discovery of a novel splice variant of Fcar (CD89) unravels sequence segments necessary for efficient secretion: a story of bad signal peptides and good ones that nevertheless do not make it

The IgA receptor, Fcar (CD89) consists of five sequence segments: two segments (S1, S2) forming the potential signal peptide, two extracellular EC domains that include the IgA binding site, and the transmembrane and cytoplasmic tail (TM/C) region. Numerous Fcar splice variants have been reported with various combinations of the sequence segments mentioned above. Here, we report a novel splice variant termed variant APD isolated from a healthy volunteer that lacks only the IgA-binding EC1 domain. Despite possessing the complete signal peptide S1+S2, the variant APD is only found in the intracellular space whereas the wild-type variant 1 is efficiently secreted and variant 4 leaks to the extracellular space. Further mutational experiments involving signal peptide replacements, cleavage site modifications, and studies on alternative isoforms demonstrate that despite the completeness of the signal peptide motif, the presence of the EC1 domain is essential for efficient extracellular export.

Journal Paper
Cell Cycle 2016, doi: 10.1080/15384101.2017.1281480
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