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Blood. 2000 Feb 15;95(4):1451-5.

Hematopoietic-specific expression of MEFV, the gene mutated in familial Mediterranean fever, and subcellular localization of its corresponding protein, pyrin.

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  • 1Department of Medicine and Department of Pediatrics and Medical Genetics, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA 90048, USA.


Familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) is a recessively inherited disorder characterized by recurrent, self-limited attacks of fever and serositis and by infiltration of affected tissues by large numbers of neutrophils. A candidate gene for FMF was identified by positional cloning and named "MEFV." The corresponding protein was named "pyrin." To elucidate the currently unknown function of pyrin, we characterized its tissue distribution, regulation of expression during hematopoietic differentiation, and subcellular localization. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction analysis, followed by hybridization with an internal oligonucleotide, demonstrated expression of MEFV in different populations of peripheral blood cells. Among hematopoietic cell lines, MEFV was almost exclusively expressed in cells of the myeloid lineage. Furthermore, MEFV messenger RNA was strongly expressed within 24 hours of dimethyl sulfoxide-induced granulocytic differentiation of HL-60 cells. Analysis of complementary DNA from human solid tumor-derived cell lines revealed expression of MEFV in several cell lines derived from colon and prostate cancers. Expression of MEFV fused to enhanced green fluorescent protein showed that pyrin localized in distinct patches in the cytoplasm, forming a perinuclear cap. Taken together, MEFV is predominantly expressed in myeloid cells and upregulated during myeloid differentiation, and the corresponding protein, pyrin, is expressed in the cytoplasm. (Blood. 2000;95:1451-1455)

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