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Genomics. 1996 Aug 1;35(3):586-9.

Structural organization of the human PON1 gene.

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  • 1Department of Genetics, University of Washington, Seattle 98195, USA.


Serum paraoxonase/arylesterase (PON) is an "A" esterase found in the HDL2 fraction of mammalian sera closely associated with apolipoproteins A1 and J. This enzyme hydrolyzes the active metabolites (oxons) of several organophosphate (OP) insecticides as well as the P-F bond of the nerve agents soman and sarin. PON also destroys biologically active, multioxygenated phospholipids. Two factors result in large individual variations in PON serum levels, a substrate-dependent activity polymorphism and large individual differences in PON protein levels that are stable over time. Animal model studies indicate that PON activity levels are likely to play a major role in determining sensitivity to OPs. The arg192 PON isoform appears to be a risk factor in coronary artery disease. We report here the characterization of a 28-kb contig encompassing 300 bp of 5' sequence, the entire coding region, and 2 kb of 3'-flanking sequence of the PON gene. The structural portion of the paraoxonase protein is encoded by nine exons that form the primary transcript through the use of typical splice donor and acceptor sites. DNA sequences of the regions surrounding all the coding exons have been determined. A polymorphic CA repeat is located in intron 4.

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