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. 1985 Apr 25;260(8):5055-60.

The Human Alpha-Fetoprotein Gene. Sequence Organization and the 5' Flanking Region

  • PMID: 2580830
Free article

The Human Alpha-Fetoprotein Gene. Sequence Organization and the 5' Flanking Region

M Sakai et al. J Biol Chem. .
Free article

Abstract

The human alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) gene was isolated into three overlapping clones in bacteriophage lambda vectors and its sequence organization analyzed by restriction endonuclease mapping and nucleotide sequencing. The human AFP gene is about 20 kilobase pairs long and contains 15 exons and 14 introns. The overall organization of the human AFP gene is similar to that of the mouse AFP gene, with all but two exons showing identical sizes. Nucleotide sequences at all exon/intron junctions display similarity to the consensus boundary sequence (Breathnach, R., and Chambon, P. (1981) Annu. Rev. Biochem. 50, 349-383), with the GT-AG rule applied to the splicing point. The cap site maps 44 nucleotides upstream from the translation initiation site. The "TATA box" is located 27 nucleotides upstream from the putative cap site and is flanked by sequences with dyad symmetry. The TATA box can thus be placed in the loop portion of a possible stem-loop structure formed by intrastrand base-pairing. Other characteristic nucleotide sequences in the 5' flanking region include a CCAAC pentamer, a 14-base pair (bp) enhancer-like sequence, and a 9-bp sequence homologous to the glucocorticoid responsive element. A long (90 bp) direct repeat and several alternating purine/pyrimidine sequences are also present in the 5' flanking region. A 736-bp sequence of the 5' flanking region adjacent to the cap site of the human AFP gene shows a 61% similarity with the corresponding region of the mouse AFP gene. There are two Alu family sequences and two poly(dT-dG) repeats in the human AFP gene that show different distribution patterns from those in the mouse AFP gene.

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