A unique gene for 5-aminolevulinate synthase in chickens. Evidence for expression of an identical messenger RNA in hepatic and erythroid tissues

J Biol Chem. 1987 Mar 25;262(9):3988-92.


Reports to date have led to the conclusion that there are isozymes for 5-aminolevulinate synthase in the liver and erythroid tissue of chicken. Indeed, the existence of a multigene family for chicken 5-aminolevulinate synthase has been proposed. We find no evidence to support these proposals. In this work we show that 5-aminolevulinate synthase mRNA from chicken liver and reticulocytes is identical as determined by RNase mapping and primer extension studies and that the 5-aminolevulinate synthase protein from these tissues is the same size as judged by immunoblot analysis. We also show that a single mRNA species for 5-aminolevulinate synthase is present in chicken liver, reticulocytes, brain, and heart and an avian erythroblastosis virus-transformed chicken erythroblast cell line. Southern analysis shows the presence of only one gene copy for 5-aminolevulinate synthase in the chicken haploid genome. Overall, these results lead to the conclusion that in chickens 5-aminolevulinate synthase is encoded by a unique gene and is expressed as a single mRNA species in all tissues.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 5-Aminolevulinate Synthetase / genetics*
  • Alpharetrovirus
  • Animals
  • Brain Chemistry
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Transformation, Viral
  • Chickens
  • DNA / genetics
  • DNA, Recombinant
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Erythroblasts / analysis
  • Immunologic Tests
  • Liver / analysis*
  • Myocardium / analysis
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis*
  • Reticulocytes / analysis*
  • Ribonucleases


  • DNA, Recombinant
  • RNA, Messenger
  • DNA
  • 5-Aminolevulinate Synthetase
  • Ribonucleases