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Am J Hum Genet. 1990 Jan;46(1):85-91.

Cloning and sequencing of a processed pseudogene derived from a human class III alcohol dehydrogenase gene.

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  • 1Department of Ecology, Ethology, and Evolution, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign 61820.


Current information on the molecular structure of human alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) genes is fragmentary. To characterize all ADH genes, we have isolated 63 ADH clones from human genomic libraries made from one individual. Fifty-nine clones have been classified into five previously known loci: ADH1 (18 clones), ADH2 (20 clones), and ADH3 class I (16 clones), ADH4 class II (4 clones), and ADH5 class III (1 clone). Sequencing of one of the remaining four unclassified clones, SY lambda ADHE38, about 1.1 kb in length, shows no introns and three frameshift mutations in the coding region, with a total of 10 internal termination codons. When its deduced amino acid sequence was compared with those of the class I, class II, and class III ADHs, the proportions of identical amino acids were 56.7%, 55.5%, and 88.7%, respectively, suggesting that the processed pseudogene was derived from an ADH5 gene. The duplication event seems to have occurred about 3.5 million years ago, and the pseudogene has undergone a rapid change since then.

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