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Gene. 2003 Oct 30;318:45-53.

Characterization of AOC2 gene encoding a copper-binding amine oxidase expressed specifically in retina.

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National Institute of Sensory Organs, National Tokyo Medical Center, 2-5-1 Higashigaoka, Meguro, Tokyo 152-8902, Japan.


We have previously cloned a human, retina-specific, amine oxidase gene (RAO, gene symbol: AOC2), a member of the copper-binding amine oxidase super family. AOC2 shares sequence identity with the human kidney amine oxidase gene (KAO, gene symbol: AOC1) and the vascular adhesion protein-1 gene (VAP-1, gene symbol: AOC3). For further analysis of AOC2, the sequences surrounding the human AOC2 and the complete mouse and partial rat homologue of AOC2 were cloned for characterization. Real-time quantitative PCR, in situ hybridization, and immunohistochemistry were performed to determine the specific expression of AOC2 in the mouse retina and especially in the retinal ganglion cells. Our results demonstrated that the copper-binding motif and the enzyme active site of AOC1 and AOC3 were both conserved in mouse AOC2. The human and mouse AOC2 was flanked by two genes, the Psme3 gene for PA-28 gamma subunit and, surprisingly, the AOC3 gene. Rat AOC2 contained a stop codon that terminated the peptide length to 127 amino acids. The presence of human and rat AOC pseudogene in this region, in addition to the tandemly positioned two AOC genes, indicates the possibility of successful AOC3 replication to retina-specific AOC2 for human and mouse but unsuccessful for rat.

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