Stearoyl-coenzyme A (CoA) desaturase (SCD) is a key enzyme involved in the conversion of saturated fatty acids into monounsaturated fatty acids. Previously, two members of this gene family, namely, Scd1 and Scd2, have been reported. Here we report the identification and characterization of a novel member of this family, Scd3, whose expression is restricted to mouse skin, specifically to the sebaceous gland. The Scd3 gene codes for a transcript of approximately 4.9 kb with an open reading frame that results in a 359-amino-acid protein. Scd3 shares 91 and 88% identity in the protein-coding region with Scd1 and Scd2, respectively, and maps to mouse chromosome 19 in very close proximity to Scd1 and Scd2. Unlike Scd1, Scd3 expression is higher in male mouse skin than in female mouse skin. The promoter sequence of Scd3 reveals similarity with Scd1 in the proximal region but also possesses several distinctive features including the polyunsaturated fatty acid-response element. Scd3 is expressed in the skin of young asebia mutant mice (Scd1(ab2J)/Scd1(ab2J)) in the absence of Scd1. Scd3 expression changes during the mouse hair cycle but not as dramatically as Scd1. The tissue-specific and sex-dependent expression of Scd3 suggests the presence of gene- and hormonal-specific control mechanisms.
Copyright 2001 Academic Press.