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Mol Cell Biol. 1986 May;6(5):1379-85.

Characterization of the human p53 gene.


Cosmid and lambda clones containing the human p53 gene were isolated and characterized in detail. The gene is 20 kilobases (kb) long and has 11 exons, the first and second exons being separated by an intron of 10 kb. Restriction fragments upstream of sequences known to be within the first identified exon were tested for promoter activity by cloning them in front of the chloramphenicol acetyltransferase gene and transfecting the resulting constructs into HeLa cells. A 0.35-kb DNA fragment was identified that had promoter activity. Results of primer extension experiments indicated that the mRNA cap site falls within this fragment, as expected. Analysis of the sequence upstream of the presumptive cap site indicated that the human p53 promoter may be of an unusual type.

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