We have cloned and characterized the human orthologue of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae MutS homologue 5 (MSH5) cDNA, as well as the human gene that encodes the MSH5 cDNA, as a step toward understanding the molecular genetic mechanisms involved in the biological function of this novel human protein. The identified cDNA contains a 2505-bp open reading frame (ORF) that encodes an 834-amino-acid polypeptide with a predicted molecular mass of 92.9 kDa. The amino acid sequence encoded by this cDNA includes sequence motifs that are conserved in all known MutS homologues existing in bacteria to humans. The cDNA appears, on the basis of amino acid sequence analysis, to be a member of the MutS family and shares 30% sequence identity with that of S. cerevisiae MSH5, a yeast gene that plays a critical role in facilitating crossover during meiosis. Northern blot analysis demonstrated the presence of a 2.9-kb human MSH5 mRNA species in all human tissues tested, but the highest expression was in human testis, an organ containing cells that undergo constant DNA synthesis and meiosis. The expression pattern of human MSH5 resembled that of the previously identified human MutS homologues MSH2, MSH3, and MSH6-genes that are involved in the pathogenesis of hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC). In an effort to expedite the search for potential disease association with this new human MutS homologue, we have also determined the chromosomal location and structure of the human MSH5 locus. Sequence and structural characterization demonstrated that MSH5 spans approximately 25 kb and contains 26 exons that range in length from 36 bp for exon 8 to 254 bp for exon 25. MSH5 has been mapped to human chromosome band 6p21.3 by fluorescence in situ hybridization. Knowledge of the sequence and gene structure of MSH5 will now enable studies of the possible roles MSH5 may play in meiosis and/or DNA replicative mismatch repair.
Copyright 1998 Academic Press.