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Gene. 2003 Sep 18;314:133-9.

The Fem1c genes: conserved members of the Fem1 gene family in vertebrates.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS 39216, USA.


The fem-1 gene of Caenorhabditis elegans functions in a signaling pathway that controls sex determination. Homologs of fem-1 in mammals have been characterized, consisting of two family members, Fem1a and Fem1b. We report here on Fem1c, a third member of the Fem1 gene family, in three vertebrate species: human, mouse, and zebrafish. The proteins encoded by these Fem1c genes share >99% amino acid identity between human and mouse, 79% amino acid identity between mouse and zebrafish, and end with a C-terminal Arginine residue, which distinguishes them from other FEM-1 proteins reported thus far. The human and mouse Fem1c coding regions show conservation of intron-exon structure and expression pattern in adult tissues. Human FEM1C maps to 5q22, mouse Fem1c maps to chromosome 18, and zebrafish fem1c maps to Linkage Group 8. The Fem1c genes in vertebrates may play a conserved role in the development and/or physiologic function of these organisms.

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