Rat encodes the paralogous gene equivalent of the human histo-blood group ABO gene. Association with antigen expression by overexpression of human ABO transferase

J Biol Chem. 2002 Nov 29;277(48):46463-9. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M206439200. Epub 2002 Sep 16.


We cloned a rat ABO homologue and established human A- and B-transferase transgenic rats. A DNA fragment corresponding to exon 7 of the human ABO gene was amplified from Wistar rat genomic DNA and sequenced. Using the amplified fragments as a probe for Southern blotting, multiple hybridized bands appeared on both EcoRI- and BamHI-digested genomes of seven rat strains, which showed variations in the band numbers among the strains. Four cDNAs were cloned from a Wistar rat, three of which showed A-transferase activity and one of which showed B-transferase activity. These activities were dependent on the equivalent residues at 266 and 268 of human ABO transferase. Wild Wistar rats expressed A-antigen in salivary gland, intestine, and urinary bladder tissue, but B-antigen was not stained in any organs studied, whereas a transcript from the ABO homologue with B-transferase activity was ubiquitous. Human A-transferase and B-transferase were transferred into Wistar rats. A-transgenic rats expressed A-antigen in ectopic tissue of the brain plexus, type II lung epithelium, pancreas, and epidermis. B-antigen in the B-transgenic rat was expressed in the same organs as A-transgenic rats. These results may shed light on the function and evolution of the ABO gene in primates.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • ABO Blood-Group System / genetics*
  • ABO Blood-Group System / immunology
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Autoantigens / immunology
  • Base Sequence
  • Blotting, Southern
  • Blotting, Western
  • DNA Primers
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Rats
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Species Specificity
  • Transferases / genetics
  • Transferases / metabolism


  • ABO Blood-Group System
  • Autoantigens
  • DNA Primers
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Transferases

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AB081649
  • GENBANK/AB081650
  • GENBANK/AB081651
  • GENBANK/AB081652