cDNA and genomic clones encoding human sarco/endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase 3 (SERCA3) were isolated. The composite nucleotide sequence of the 4.6 kb cDNA, as well as the partial structure of 25 kb of genomic DNA encoding all but the 5´ region of the gene, was determined. The nucleotide sequence coding for the last six amino acids of the pump and the 3´-untranslated region were identified within the sequence of the last exon. Northern blot hybridization analysis using cDNA probes derived from this exon detected a 4.8 kb transcript in several human tissues. Using a cDNA probe derived from the 5´-coding region an unexpected mRNA distribution pattern, consisting of two mRNA species of 4.8 and 4.0 kb, was detected in thyroid gland and bone marrow only. This is the first indication of an alternative splicing mechanism operating on the SERCA3 gene transcript, which most likely generates SERCA3 isoforms with altered C-termini. Human SERCA3 expressed in platelets and in COS cells transfected with the corresponding cDNA was detected with the previously described antibody N89 (directed against the N-terminal region of rat SERCA3) and with a new SERCA3-specific antiserum C91, directed against the extreme C-terminus of the human isoform. A monoclonal antibody PL/IM430, previously assumed to recognize SERCA3 in human platelets, does not react with the 97 kDa human SERCA3 transiently expressed in COS cells. Therefore the 97 kDa isoform detected by PL/IM430 more likely represents a novel SERCA pump, as recently suggested [Kovács, Corvazier, Papp, Magnier, Bredoux, Enyedi, Sarkadi and Enouf (1994) J. Biol. Chem. 269, 6177–6184]. Finally, by fluorescence in situ hybridization and chromosome G-banding analyses, the SERCA3 gene was assigned to human chromosome 17p13.3.

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