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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1990 Oct;87(19):7732-6.

Identification of three related human GRO genes encoding cytokine functions.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Microbiology and Immunology, Lineberger Cancer Research Center, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 27599-7295.


The product of the human GRO gene is a cytokine with inflammatory and growth-regulatory properties; GRO is also called MGSA for melanoma growth-stimulatory activity. We have identified two additional genes, GRO beta and GRO gamma, that share 90% and 86% identity at the deduced amino acid level with the original GRO alpha isolate. One amino acid substitution of proline in GRO alpha by leucine in GRO beta and GRO gamma leads to a large predicted change in protein conformation. Significant differences also exist in the 3' untranslated region, including different numbers of ATTTA repeats associated with mRNA instability. A 122-base-pair region in the 3' region is conserved among the three GRO genes, and a part of it is also conserved in the Chinese hamster genome, suggesting a role in regulation. DNA hybridization with oligonucleotide probes and partial sequence analysis of the genomic clones confirm that the three forms are derived from related but different genes. Only one chromosomal locus has been identified, at 4q21, by using a GRO alpha cDNA clone that hybridized to all three genes. Expression studies reveal tissue-specific regulation as well as regulation by specific inducing agents, including interleukin 1, tumor necrosis factor, phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate, and lipopolysaccharide.

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