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Nucleic Acids Res. 1992 Sep 11;20(17):4613-20.

Human Oct3 gene family: cDNA sequences, alternative splicing, gene organization, chromosomal location, and expression at low levels in adult tissues.

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  • 1Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Chicago, IL.


Transcription factors containing the POU-domain have been shown to be important regulators of tissue-specific gene expression in the pituitary and lymphoid cells. Using a polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based strategy, we have searched for similar factors that may be expressed in adult human pancreatic islets. This approach resulted in the amplification of sequences encoding the octamer binding proteins Oct1 and Oct3 (also called Oct4). The isolation of cDNAs encoding Oct3 revealed the expression of two isoforms of this transcription factor termed Oct3A and Oct3B that are generated by alternative splicing. Human Oct3A and Oct3B are composed of 360 and 265 amino acids, respectively, of which the 225 amino acids at the COOH-termini are identical. The sequence of human Oct3A shows 87% amino acid identity with mouse Oct3. Reverse-transcriptase PCR showed low levels of expression of both Oct3A and Oct3B mRNA in all adult human tissues examined. We also isolated and characterized the human Oct3 gene (OTF3) and a related gene, OTF3C. The human Oct3 gene, localized to human chromosome 6 in the region of the MHC complex, spans about 7 kb and consists of five exons. The Oct3-related gene, OTF3C, is a retroposon and has been localized to human chromosome 8. Southern blotting and PCR amplification of human DNA indicated the presence of other OTF3-related genes as has been previously noted in the mouse. Two polymorphisms which can be typed using PCR were identified in OTF3 which will facilitate genetic studies of this gene.

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