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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2003 Oct 1;1629(1-3):8-14.

Genomic structure and expression of the mouse ESET gene encoding an ERG-associated histone methyltransferase with a SET domain.

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  • 1Department of Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.


ESET (ERG-associated protein with a SET domain, also called SETDB1) is a novel histone methyltransferase that catalyzes methylation of histone H3-lysine 9 (H3-K9). Here we describe the genomic structure and expression of the mouse ESET gene that gives rise to ESET protein and its alternative splicing product. ESET is a 36-kb single copy gene and full-length ESET transcript consisting of 22 exons. The splicing variant retains only the first 12 exons and thus lacks sequences encoding the methyl CpG-binding domain and the catalytic SET domain. The U2 type conserved GT/AG consensus sequence is present at all of the splicing junctions within the ESET gene. The transcription initiation site of the ESET gene was determined by 5'-RACE experiment and by primer extension. The 5'-flanking sequence of the ESET gene does not contain the consensus TATA box. Instead, this ESET promoter region has features such as SP1-binding sites that are typical of housekeeping genes. The ESET promoter was functionally active when tested in transfection and luciferase assay. Full-length ESET transcript appears to be ubiquitously expressed. While the SET domain-deficient splicing variant is present in immortalized cell lines, it is undetectable by RT-PCR in the majority of normal mouse tissues.

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