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Hum Mol Genet. 1993 Oct;2(10):1589-95.

A tight cluster of five unrelated human genes on chromosome 16q22.1.

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  • 1Biotechnology Centre of Oslo, University of Oslo, Norway.


A locus on human chromosome 16q22.1 contains at least five tightly clustered genes which are unrelated by sequence homology and apparently unrelated by function. The genes for a putative proteasome subunit (MECL 1), a chymotrypsin-like protease (CTRL), a protein serine kinase (PSKH1), the previously cloned lecithin:cholesterol acyl transferase (LCAT) and a protein of unknown function are found within 40 kb of genomic DNA. Exons from the former four genes are located within a 12 kb region including a CpG island associated with the putative proteasome gene. Three of the genes are widely expressed, whereas the genes for the protease and LCAT are highly tissue specific. The distance between the transcriptional units of the gene upstream of LCAT and LCAT is only 199 bp. Alternative polyadenylation of the protease transcripts creates a transcription unit which overlaps with the oppositely oriented kinase gene. The selective advantage of this unusual gene clustering may involve transcriptional interference(s) and coregulatory events not yet understood. Given the current estimate of about 100,000 genes in the human genome, our findings support the notion that genes are not evenly distributed.

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