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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2001 Dec 30;1522(3):167-74.

Identification of a novel retina-specific gene located in a subtelomeric region with polymorphic distribution among multiple human chromosomes.

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Institut fuer Humangenetik, Biozentrum, Universitaet Wuerzburg, D-97074, Wuerzburg, Germany.


The human retina is comprised of a large number of cell types with highly specialized functions that depend on the action of countless genes, many of which are exclusively expressed in the retina. We have isolated a novel retinal gene, termed F379. The transcript was initially identified as a cluster of ESTs derived predominantly from retinal cDNA libraries and its retinal transcription confirmed by Northern blot and RT-PCR. Screening of retinal cDNA libraries yielded four clones that were assembled into a 1188 bp consensus sequence. The putative open reading frame includes an unusual configuration of Alu and MIR repeats and encodes a putative 85 aa peptide with no significant homology to any known protein sequence outside of the Alu and MIR elements. Comparison with genomic sequence determined that F379 consists of three exons and maps to multiple locations throughout the genome, a finding confirmed by PCR screening of a somatic cell hybrid mapping panel. F379 appears to be contained within a region of subtelomeric DNA that is duplicated in a polymorphic distribution to multiple chromosomes. Comparison of interchromosomal sequence variation with the sequences of expressed transcripts suggests that the gene is transcribed in the human retina from at least four different chromosomes.

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