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J Biol Chem. 1990 Jul 15;265(20):11773-82.

Nonconservative utilization of aldolase A alternative promoters.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, New York 14642.


Recently, analysis of the sequence and expression of the human aldolase A gene revealed the unique arrangement of three tandem promoters and exons preceding a common coding sequence. A muscle-specific promoter (M) and two flanking widely used promoters (N and H) produce mRNA species which, in their mature forms, differ only in the sequence of their 5'-untranslated regions. We have isolated and investigated the expression of a mouse aldolase A gene. This mouse gene represents a functional gene by sequence analysis, recombinational screening, and by transfection into C2C12 cells. Although there is a high degree of sequence similarity between the mouse and the human gene in the region of the alternative first exons, we have been unable to detect a functional utilization of the 5'-most promoter (N) in the mouse. Steady state mRNAs isolated from a variety of adult tissues and cultured cells were analyzed by RNase protection and primer extension to identify first exon utilization. Consistent with previous reports, exon M is found only in skeletal muscle and exon H, the "housekeeping" exon, is utilized in every tissue where aldolase A is expressed. Under identical conditions we fail to see any evidence of the N exon. Therefore, although sequence homology exists between rodents and primates in the N region, the absence of selective pressure to preserve its primate pattern of expression may have resulted in functional promoter extinction.

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