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Mech Dev. 1999 Jan;80(1):77-86.

The RNA-binding protein gene, hermes, is expressed at high levels in the developing heart.

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Institute for Cell and Molecular Biology, University of Texas at Austin 78712, USA.


In a screen for novel sequences expressed during embryonic heart development we have isolated a gene which encodes a putative RNA-binding protein. This protein is a member of one of the largest families of RNA-binding proteins, the RRM (RNA Recognition Motif) family. The gene has been named hermes (for HEart, RRM Expressed Sequence). The hermes protein is 197-amino acids long and contains a single RRM domain. In situ hybridization analysis indicates that hermes is expressed at highest levels in the myocardium of the heart and to a lesser extent in the ganglion layer of the retina, the pronephros and epiphysis. Expression of hermes in each of these tissues begins at approximately the time of differentiation and is maintained throughout development. Analysis of the RNA expression of the hermes orthologues from chicken and mouse reveals that, like Xenopus, the most prominent tissue of expression is the developing heart. The sequence and expression pattern of hermes suggests a role in post-transcriptional regulation of heart development.

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