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Nucleic Acids Res. 1991 Mar 11;19(5):1105-12.

Genomic organization of the human thyroid hormone receptor alpha (c-erbA-1) gene.

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  • 1INSERM U 186/ CNRS UA 04 1160, Institut Pasteur de Lille, France.


The thyroid hormone receptor alpha (THRA or c-erbA-1) gene belongs to a family of genes which encode nuclear receptors for various hydrophobic ligands such as steroids, vitamin D, retinoic acid and thyroid hormones. These receptors are composed of several domains important for hormone-binding, DNA-binding, dimerization and activation of transcription. We show here that the human THRA gene is organized in 10 exons distributed along 27 kbp of genomic DNA on chromosome 17. The position of the introns in human THRA is highly conserved when compared to the chicken gene despite their differing lengths. The N-terminal A/B domain as well as the 5' untranslated region is encoded by two exons. Interestingly, each of the putative zinc fingers of the receptor DNA-binding domain is encoded by one exon and the hormone-binding domain is assembled from three exons. The two last exons of the gene are alternatively spliced to generate two different messenger RNAs. In addition, we confirm that another gene, belonging to the nuclear receptor superfamily, ear-1, overlaps with the 3' region of THRA in an opposite transcriptional orientation.

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