Supplementary Material for: Identifying differentially expressed genes in the mammalian retina and the retinal pigment epithelium by suppression subtractive hybridization

Retina and retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells are of neuroectodermal origin with highly specialized functions in light perception. Identification and characterization of genes differentially expressed in these cells will greatly aid our understanding of their functional roles in retinal biology. As a source enriched for gene transcripts from the retina/RPE, we generated a human retina and a bovine RPE cDNA library applying the PCR-based technique of suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH). Sequencing of 1,080 retina and 2,350 RPE SSH clones resulted in the identification of 321 and 343 non-redundant human transcripts, respectively. Of these, only 27 genes were in common between the two cDNA libraries. One transcript expressed exclusively in retina and RPE is the novel gene C4orf11 which is comprised of four exons on chromosome 4q21.2. We report the full-length cloning of two isoforms of C4orf11, 919 bp and 857 bp in length, both of which contain four identical open reading frames (ORFs). While ORFs 1 to 3 show no homologies to known proteins or protein domains, ORF4 reveals 50% sequence identity to RPE-spondin, a hypothetical protein on 8q13.3 with unknown function. We demonstrate that both the retina and the RPE SSH cDNA libraries are excellent resources for identifying known and novel genes exclusively or abundantly expressed in the retina/RPE complex. In combination with other approaches such as microarray analysis or serial analysis of gene expression (SAGE), the availability of highly sensitive and specific SSH cDNA libraries will facilitate the comprehensive description of the retina/RPE transcriptome.




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