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Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2004 Aug;40(4):285-97.

DLEU2 encodes an antisense RNA for the putative bicistronic RFP2/LEU5 gene in humans and mouse.

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  • 1Molecular Biology Laboratory, Royal Bournemouth Hospital, Bournemouth, United Kingdom.


Our group previously identified two novel genes, RFP2/LEU5 and DLEU2, within a 13q14.3 genomic region of loss seen in various malignancies. However, no specific inactivating mutations were found in these or other genes in the vicinity of the deletion, suggesting that a nonclassical tumor-suppressor mechanism may be involved. Here, we present data showing that the DLEU2 gene encodes a putative noncoding antisense RNA, with one exon directly overlapping the first exon of the RFP2/LEU5 gene in the opposite orientation. In addition, the RFP2/LEU5 transcript can be alternatively spliced to produce either several monocistronic transcripts or a putative bicistronic transcript encoding two separate open-reading frames, adding to the complexity of the locus. The finding that these gene structures are conserved in the mouse, including the putative bicistronic RFP2/LEU5 transcript as well as the antisense relationship with DLEU2, further underlines the significance of this unusual organization and suggests a biological function for DLEU2 in the regulation of RFP2/LEU5.

Copyright 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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