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Eur J Biochem. 2000 Apr;267(8):2297-306.

Structure of the human oxytocinase/insulin-regulated aminopeptidase gene and localization to chromosome 5q21.

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Department of Molecular and Structural Biology, University of Aarhus, Denmark.


The human oxytocinase/insulin-regulated aminopeptidase (OTase/IRAP) is a 1024 amino acid type II integral membrane protein that is expressed mainly in fat, muscle and placenta tissues. It has been thought to be involved mainly in the control of onset of labour but recently rat OTase/IRAP was shown to participate in the regulation of glucose transporter isoform 4 vesicle trafficking in adipocytes as well. To approach an understanding of OTase/IRAP gene regulation the organization of the human gene was determined. Accordingly, three overlapping genomic clones were isolated and characterized. The human OTase/IRAP gene (OTASE) was found to span approximately 75 kb containing 18 exons and 17 introns. The gluzincin aminopeptidase motif: GAMEN-(31 amino acids)-HELAH-(18 amino acids)-E associated with Zn2+-binding, substrate binding and catalysis is encoded by exons 6 and 7. A major and a minor transcriptional initiation site in OTASE were identified by primer extension 514 bp and 551 bp, respectively, upstream of the translation start codon. Chloroamphenicol acetyltransferase-reporter assays revealed a functional CpG-rich promoter/enhancer region located between nucleotide -621 and the major transcriptional initiation site. Human OTASE was assigned to chromosome 5 by hybridization to genomic DNA from characterized somatic cell hybrids. Finally, the OTASE and the human aminopeptidase A gene were subchromosomally localized to 5q21 and 4q25, respectively, by in situ hybridization.

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