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J Biol Chem. 1985 Feb 25;260(4):2315-20.

Fine structural analysis of the human pro-alpha 1 (I) collagen gene. Promoter structure, AluI repeats, and polymorphic transcripts.


The human pro-alpha 1(I) collagen gene is 18 kilobases long, and its coding information is subdivided in 51 exons. We have recently reported a detailed analysis of this elaborate structure. Here we describe the exact termini of the gene as well as its 5' flanking sequences (promoter region). Sequence comparison between the human and mouse pro-alpha 1(I) gene showed an unusual highly conserved region 5' to the initiation site of transcription, which may be important for pro-alpha 1(I) collagen expression. Sequence comparison between the pro-alpha 1(I) and other collagen genes revealed the presence of a conserved secondary structure possibly implicated in the regulation of collagen mRNA translation and/or collagen secretion. Two short repetitive sequences closely associated with the pro-alpha 1(I) gene have been identified to be different members of the AluI family of repeats. Like the independently co-expressed pro-alpha 2(I) collagen gene, the analysis of the last exon has revealed that the pro-alpha 1(I) gene transcribes two different mRNAs in cultured fibroblasts. The colinearity and exact location of the termini of these transcripts, as well as their monogenic nature, have been conclusively determined.

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