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Genomics. 2007 Oct;90(4):493-501. Epub 2007 Aug 24.

Identification, evolution, and association study of a novel promoter and first exon of the human NOD2 (CARD15) gene.

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Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics, King's College London School of Medicine, Guy's Hospital, London, UK.


Mutations in the NOD2 (CARD15) gene predispose to Crohn's disease (CD), a human chronic inflammatory bowel disorder, and can cause Blau syndrome. During an investigation of an apparent correlation between a frameshifting mutation in the canonical first exon of NOD2 of marmoset and tamarin species and their susceptibility to chronic colitis, we found that, contrary to previous reports, the basal levels of NOD2 transcripts in tissues relevant to CD arise from a distinct novel promoter and first exon. The canonical first exon, by contrast, seems to be of negligible transcriptional importance under physiological conditions, and its reading frame has been disrupted twice during primate evolution. Thus the main NOD2/CARD15 protein isoform produced in humans and other primates is 27 amino acids shorter than previously reported, starting at a conserved methionine in exon 2. We show that there is no significant association between variants in the novel NOD2 promoter region and CD.

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