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J Immunol. 1990 May 1;144(9):3592-601.

Characterization of the human and murine IL-7 genes.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Biology, Immunex Corporation, Seattle, WA 98101-2977.


IL-7 cDNA clones were used to isolate clones from the human IL-7 gene locus. Characterization of the clones revealed that the human IL-7 gene contains six exons, distributed over more than 33-kbp. An 18 amino acid insert found in human IL-7, for which no counterpart has yet been demonstrated in murine IL-7, is exactly encoded by exon 5 of the human gene. Clones were also isolated containing 5' flanking sequences and the first four exons of the murine IL-7 gene. RNase protection studies of murine IL-7 mRNA, as well as the sequences of 5'-terminal murine IL-7 cDNA clones obtained by anchored polymerase chain reaction cloning, indicate that the murine IL-7 gene initiates transcription at multiple sites within a 200-bp region. This region, and the sequence upstream of this region, appears to lack transcriptional regulatory sequences commonly found in eukaryotic promoters, including the TATA and CAAT sequences. However, the region lies within a CpG island, and contains potential recognition sequences for the "helix-loop-helix" class of DNA binding proteins.

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