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J Biol Chem. 1990 Nov 25;265(33):20277-84.

Structural and functional analysis of the human thymidylate synthase gene.

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  • 1Department of Immunology and Virology, Saitama Cancer Center Research Institute, Japan.


The complete nucleotide sequence of the human thymidylate synthase (TS) gene was determined. The biologically active unit spans about 16 kilobase pairs (kbp) and is composed of seven exons and six introns. The promoter region and the major transcriptional start sites were located within about 400 base pairs (bp) and 160-180 bp, respectively, upstream from the ATG initiation codon. A minigene consisting of a 5'-flanking sequence of about 4 kbp, a coding sequence of about 1.7 kpb was sufficient for cell cycle-dependent expression of TS when introduced into a TS-deficient mutant of rodent cells. The 5'-flanking region does not contain a "TATA," "CAAT," or the consensus sequence for Sp1 binding (GC box), whereas intron 1 contains three GC boxes. The gene is G + C-rich and the CpG-rich region extends from 5'-flanking region to intron 1. These sequence characteristics were compared with those of the mouse TS gene and other cell cycle-regulated genes.

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