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J Biol Chem. 1990 Sep 5;265(25):14922-31.

Genomic organization and chromosomal localization of the human nucleolin gene.

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  • 1Cardiorenal Division, Food and Drug Administration, Bethesda, Maryland.


Nucleolin, a eukaryotic nucleolar phosphoprotein, is involved in the synthesis and maturation of ribosomes. To characterize the genomic organization and regulatory sequences of this gene, two overlapping lambda clones containing the human nucleolin gene plus flanking regions were isolated from a genomic library using human nucleolin cDNA. Southern blots of genomic DNA from human, several mammals, chicken, and yeast revealed that the nucleolin gene is well conserved across these species. The gene consists of 14 exons with 13 intervening sequences and spans approximately 11 kilobases of DNA. Analysis of the splice junctions indicated that the amino-terminal domain and the four RNA binding domains plus the nuclear localization signal are split into adjacent exons. Sequences from the 5'-flanking and the first intron contain a high content of GC residues which is consistent with nucleolin being a "housekeeping" gene. Promoter elements include an atypical TATA box (GTTA), one CCAAT box much further from the initiation site, three reverse compliments of CCAAT (ATTGG), and two pyrimidine-rich nucleotide stretches. In addition, this region and the first intron contain numerous potential Sp1, GCF, CRE-fos, GCN, AP-1, AP-2, UCE, and sequences similar to the glucocorticoid receptor binding site. The transcription start site was determined by primer extension and S1 nuclease mapping of RNA from human liver. One Kpn and three Alu repeats were found within two of the middle introns. The 3'-untranslated portion of the gene contains five homology blocks in a 100-base pair region that are highly conserved among human, mouse, and hamster genomes. Finally, we have determined that the human nucleolin gene is located on chromosome 2q12-qter and is present at one copy per haploid genome. A restriction fragment length polymorphism with EcoRI has been detected in the gene.

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