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Biochem J. 1990 Sep 15;270(3):569-76.

Structure of the human sialophorin (CD43) gene. Identification of features atypical of genes encoding integral membrane proteins.

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Center for Blood Research, Children's Hospital, Boston, MA 02115.


A human sialophorin (CD43) specific genomic clone was isolated, and a 6.5 kb fragment containing the 4.6 kb sialophorin gene was sequenced. The promoter region contains no TATA or CAAT boxes, but is highly enriched in G and C nucleotides and contains short repeat sequences similar to those found in the promoters of 'housekeeping' genes. S1-nuclease protection and primer-extension experiments established that the sialophorin gene has two major transcription initiation sites. There is a single intron of 378 bp that interrupts the sequence specifying the mRNA 5' untranslated region. The gene is therefore unusual in that the discrete extracellular, transmembrane and intracellular regions of the protein, including repeat sequences in the extracellular region, are not encoded by separate exons. Utilization of alternative polyadenylation signals was previously shown to generate two sialophorin mRNAs of 1.9 and 4.3 kb, which differ in the length of their 3' untranslated regions. Sequence analysis of the gene establishes that a single polyadenylation signal 2301 bp downstream of the first major transcription initiation site and five overlapping polyadenylation signals beginning a further 2290 bp downstream define the 3' termini of the 1.9 and 4.3 kb mRNA species respectively. The gene contains potential Z-DNA structures, Aly sequences, and elements that may be involved in regulating mRNA stability.

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