Characterization of transcripts expressed from the Meis2 locus in the Natal Long-fingered bat (Miniopterus natalensis)

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

The Myeloid ecotropic insertion site 2 (Meis2) gene is an important transcriptional regulator involved in the pattering of the limb during vertebrate development. In the forelimbs (wings) of bats the expression Meis2 was shown to be differentially expressed when compared to mice forelimbs. Meis2 was found to be present in the interdigital webbing of the autopod (hand) of the developing bat forelimb. In both the mouse and the bat, two separate transcripts were discovered to be expressed from the 3’and 5’ region of the Meis2 locus. The 3’ transcripts corresponded to annotated Meis2 mRNA transcripts, the 5’ transcript corresponded to an mRNA transcript that did not code for any known protein. The 5’ transcript was thought to be a long non-coding RNA and was termed lncMeis2. In this study Random Amplification of cDNA Ends (RACE) analysis was used to identify the RNA transcripts expressed from the Meis2 locus and to verify the presence of lncMeis2. RACE was performed on the heads and forelimbs of the Natal Long-fingered bat (Miniopterus natalensis) and the mouse (Mus musculus) and the products sequenced and aligned to the mouse genome for verification.

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