cDNA cloning, sequencing and chromosome mapping of a non-erythroid spectrin, human alpha-fodrin

Differentiation. 1987;34(1):68-78. doi: 10.1111/j.1432-0436.1987.tb00052.x.


Several overlapping cDNA clones encompassing 2760 nucleotides of the alpha-subunit of a human non-erythroid spectrin (termed fodrin) were isolated from a human lung fibroblast cDNA library. DNA and RNA blot analyses indicated that a single copy alpha-fodrin gene encodes a 9-kb transcript. The cDNA clones were sequenced, and all were found to contain long open reading frames. The overlapping regions were identical except for a 60-nucleotide inframe insertion at position 1133 in the composite sequence. This result suggests that at least two distinct transcripts exist in fibroblast cells. The chromosomal location of human alpha-fodrin was assigned to 1p34-1p36.1 by hybridization to somatic cell hybrids, and it is thus distinct from that of human alpha-spectrin which has been mapped to 1q22-1q25. Alignment of the composite 919 amino acids of the predicted protein sequence of human alpha-fodrin with that of human alpha-spectrin indicated that alpha-fodrin has a similar 106-amino-acid repeating structure, which is homologous with alpha-spectrin repeats 7-15. Repeats 10 and 11 are anomalous in sequence and structure from other repeats. A comparison of nucleic acid and amino acid homologies between alpha-spectrin and the alpha-fodrin of several vertebrates indicated that human non-erythroid alpha-fodrin and the common alpha-subunit of erythroid and non-erythroid cells of non-mammalian vertebrates are closely related (90%-96% amino acid homology), whereas alpha-fodrin is only distantly related to the erythroid-specific alpha-spectrin subunit of mammals (55%-59% amino acid homology). These data suggest that mammalian erythroid alpha-spectrin evolved by duplication and rapid divergence from an ancestral alpha-fodrin-like gene.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Carrier Proteins / genetics*
  • Cell Line
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Cloning, Molecular*
  • DNA / metabolism*
  • DNA Restriction Enzymes
  • Humans
  • Microfilament Proteins / genetics*
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid
  • Spectrin / genetics*


  • Carrier Proteins
  • Microfilament Proteins
  • fodrin
  • Spectrin
  • DNA
  • DNA Restriction Enzymes

Associated data

  • GENBANK/M18627