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Biochemistry. 1987 Nov 3;26(22):6910-4.

Isolation and characterization of the human tyrosine hydroxylase gene: identification of 5' alternative splice sites responsible for multiple mRNAs.

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  • 1Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri 63110.


A full-length genomic clone for human tyrosine hydroxylase (L-tyrosine, tetrahydropteridine:oxygen oxidoreductase, EC has been isolated. A human brain genomic library constructed in EMBL3 was screened by using a rat cDNA for tyrosine hydroxylase as a probe [Brown, E. R., Coker, G. T., III, & O'Malley, K. L. (1987) Biochemistry 26, 5208-5212]. Out of one million recombinant phage, one clone was identified that hybridized to both 5' and 3' rat cDNA probes. Restriction endonuclease mapping. Southern blotting, and sequence analysis revealed that, like its rodent counterpart, the human gene is single copy, contains 13 primary exons, and spans approximately 8 kilobases (kb). In contrast to the rat gene, human tyrosine hydroxylase undergoes alternative RNA processing within intron 1, generating at least three distinct mRNAs. A comparison of the human tyrosine hydroxylase and phenylalanine hydroxylase [DiLella, A. G., Kwok, S. C. M., Ledley, F. D., Marvit, J., & Woo, S. L. C. (1986) Biochemistry 25, 743-749] genes indicates that although both probably evolved from a common ancestral gene, major changes in the size of introns have occurred since their divergence.

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