We have recently identified a novel RING finger protein expressed in the rat brain, which associates with myosin V and alpha-actinin-4. Here we have cloned and characterized the orthologous human BERP cDNA and gene (HGMW-approved symbol RNF22). The human BERP protein is encoded by 11 exons ranging in size from 71 to 733 bp, and fluorescence in situ hybridization shows that the BERP gene maps to chromosome 11p15.5, 3' to the FE65 gene. The human BERP protein is 98% identical to the rat and mouse proteins, and we have identified a highly conserved potential orthologue in Caenorhabditis elegans. BERP belongs to the RING finger-B-box-coiled coil (RBCC) subgroup of RING finger proteins, and a cluster of these RBCC protein genes is present in chromosome 11p15. Chromosome region 11p15 is thought to harbor tumor suppressor genes, and deletions of this region occur frequently in several types of human cancers. These observations indicate that BERP may be a novel tumor suppressor gene.
Copyright 2001 Academic Press.