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J Biol Chem. 1988 Feb 15;263(5):2245-9.

Structural organization of the gene for rat liver-type arginase.

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Institute for Medical Genetics, Kumamoto University Medical School, Japan.


Liver-type arginase (EC catalyzes the last step of urea synthesis and is expressed specifically in the liver of ureotelic animals. Expression of liver arginase is developmentally and hormonally regulated in coordination with other urea cycle enzymes. The gene for the rat enzyme was cloned and the structure determined. This gene is 12 kilobases long and is split into eight exons. All of the splice donor and acceptor sites conform to the GT/AG rule. The transcription initiation site was determined by nuclease S1 mapping and primer extension. A "TATA box"-like sequence and a "CAAT box"-like sequence are present 27 and 60 bases upstream from the cap site, respectively. Upstream and downstream from the cap site, there are several sets of direct repeats and inverted repeats and several sequences resembling the transcription factor Sp1 binding sites, the enhancer core sequences, the glucocorticoid receptor binding sites, the 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate responsive elements, and the putative elements for liver-specific expression of albumin genes. A 15-nucleotide sequence in the 5'-flanking region of the arginase gene is highly homologous with sequences in the 5'-flanking regions of the genes for rat ornithine carbamoyltransferase (EC and for human argininosuccinate synthetase (EC, other two enzymes of the urea cycle.

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