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J Biol Chem. 1990 Mar 5;265(7):3648-53.

Characterization and comparative structural features of the gene for human interstitial retinol-binding protein.

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  • 1Department of Biological Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907.


We have cloned the gene for human interstitial retinol-binding protein (IRBP) and compared its nucleotide sequence with that of the corresponding cloned cDNA. The human IRBP gene is approximately 9.5 kilobase pairs (kbp) in length and consists of four exons separated by three introns. The introns are 1.6-1.9 kbp long. The gene is transcribed by photoreceptor and retinoblastoma cells into an approximately 4.3-kilobase mRNA that is translated and processed into a glycosylated protein of 135,000 Da. The amino acid sequence of human IRBP can be divided into four contiguous homology domains with 33-38% identity, suggesting a series of gene duplication events. In the gene, the boundaries of these domains are not defined by exon-intron junctions, as might have been expected. The first three homology domains and part of the fourth are all encoded by the first large exon, which is 3,180 base pairs long. The remainder of the fourth domain is encoded in the last three exons, which are 191, 143, and approximately 740 base pairs long, respectively. This unusual structure is shared with the bovine IRBP gene. A large (1.7 kbp) fragment appears to have been lost from the 3'-noncoding region of the last human exon. We conclude that the human and bovine genes have similar evolutionary histories.

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