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EMBO J. 1986 Mar;5(3):451-8.

The structure and expression of maize genes encoding the major heat shock protein, hsp70.

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Division of Biological Sciences, Corporate Research and Development, Monsanto Company, St. Louis, MO 63198, USA.


We have isolated and sequenced two maize genomic clones that are homologous to the Drosophila hsp70 gene. One of the maize hsp70 clones contains the entire hsp70 coding region and 81 nucleotides of the 5' nontranslated sequence. The predicted amino acid sequence for this maize protein is 68% homologous to the hsp70 of Drosophila. The second maize hsp70 clone contains only part of the coding sequence and 1.1 kb of the 5' flanking sequence. This 5' flanking sequence contains two sequences homologous to the consensus heat-shock-element sequence. Both maize genes are thermally inducible and each contains an intron in the same position as that of the heat-shock-cognate gene, hsc1, of Drosophila. The presence of an intron in the maize genes is a distinguishing feature in that no other thermally inducible hsp70 genes described to date contain an intron. We have constructed a hybrid hsp70 gene containing the entire hsp70 coding sequence with an intron, and 1.1 kb of the 5' flanking sequence. We demonstrate that this hybrid gene is thermally inducible in a transgenic petunia plant and that the gene is expressed from its own promoter.


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