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Arch Biochem Biophys. 1992 May 15;295(1):13-20.

Human heme oxygenase-2: characterization and expression of a full-length cDNA and evidence suggesting that the two HO-2 transcripts may differ by choice of polyadenylation signal.

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  • 1Department of Biophysics, University of Rochester School of Medicine, New York 14642.


We show by Northern blot analysis that human HO-2 is encoded by two transcripts (1.3 and 1.7 kb) and is a single-copy gene as judged by Southern blot analysis. We further provide evidence based on Northern blot and sequence analysis of a cDNA representing the larger transcript that the transcripts differ in the 3' untranslated region. A 274-base-pair DNA fragment from the rat heme oxygenase-2 gene (I. Cruse and M.D. Maines, 1988, J. Biol. Chem. 263, 3348-3353) was used to isolate a human HO-2 cDNA from a fetal kidney library in lambda gt11. The clone, designated hK-1, was sequenced and the cDNA insert was determined to be 1625 base pairs in length, encoding a protein of 313 amino acids. Two consensus polyadenylation signals separated by 440 nucleotides were identified in the 3' untranslated region. The size of the cDNA insert closely approximated the larger of two mRNAs. The nucleotide sequence was 88% identical to the rat HO-2 gene within the predicted coding region and the putative translation product was also estimated to be 88% identical to the rat gene product (M. O. Rotenberg and D. Maines, 1990, J. Biol. Chem. 265, 7501). The predicted size, 36 kDa, corresponded well with HO-2 detected in human testis microsomes by Western blot analysis. Further, the fusion protein expressed in Escherichia coli displayed significant heme oxygenase activity, which was inhibited by Zn- and Sn-protoporphyrins, known inhibitors of eukaryotic heme oxygenase, but not by sulfhydryl reagents.

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