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Cytogenet Genome Res. 2005;111(1):65-73.

Genomic structure and alternative transcript of bovine fatty acid synthase gene (FASN): comparative analysis of the FASN gene between monogastric and ruminant species.

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Laboratorio de Genética Bioquímica y Grupos Sanguíneos, Universidad de Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain.


Fatty acid synthesis differs considerably between monogastric and ruminant species. Fatty acid synthase (FASN) plays a central role in de novo lipogenesis in mammals. FASN has seven active sites which help to catalyse all the reaction steps in the conversion of acetyl-CoA and malonyl-CoA to palmitate. In this work, the bovine fatty acid synthase gene (FASN) was cloned, characterized and compared to the human and rat orthologs. Comparative analysis reveals evolutionarily conserved exon regions and gene flanking sequences. Analysis of the DNA sequence in the 5' flanking region of the FASN bovine gene revealed a potential TATA box, CAAT box and 5 Sp1 binding sites located in a CpG island. RT-PCR and Western blot analysis showed that FASN expression was higher in brain, testis and adipose tissue than in liver and heart. The longer form of the FASN cDNA includes a 7,542-bp sequence which encodes a protein with 2,513 amino acids. An alternative transcript was discovered in bovine and ovine tissues devoid of part of exon 9. The removal of part of exon 9 by post-transcriptional splicing causes a frameshift in the open reading frame and results in a premature termination codon. We hypothesize that in ruminants, FASN may be regulated by the ratio between the two transcripts. The small transcript is mostly produced in tissues with low fatty acid synthesis.

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