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Genomics. 1990 Oct;8(2):371-9.

Human U1-70K ribonucleoprotein antigen gene: organization, nucleotide sequence, and mapping to locus 19q13.3.

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Department of Medical Genetics, University of Wisconsin, Madison 53706.


We have isolated and sequenced the gene encoding the human U1-70K snRNP protein. U1-70K is an RNA-binding protein that is a specific component of the U1 small nuclear ribonucleoprotein complex (snRNP) and constitutes the major anti-(U1) RNP autoimmune antigen. We have mapped the U1-70K gene to the distal portion of chromosome 19, at band q13.3. The gene is greater than 44 kb in size and consists of 11 exons. The general structure of the gene has been completely conserved during vertebrate evolution and accounts for the production of several different U1-70K mRNA species by alternative pre-mRNA splicing. Comparison of the predicted amino acid sequences of animal U1-70K proteins reveals a high degree of conservation, particularly in the region of the RNP consensus domain. Even more striking is the complete conservation of the nucleotide sequence of an alternative included/excluded exon containing an in-frame translational termination codon. This conservation also includes significant portions of the downstream intervening sequence. This extraordinary conservation at the nucleotide sequence level suggests that alternative splicing of this exon serves an important function, perhaps in regulating the production of functional U1-70K protein.

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