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Gene. 1985;36(1-2):55-63.

Nucleotide sequence of the chicken cardiac alpha actin gene: absence of strong homologies in the promoter and 3'-untranslated regions with the skeletal alpha actin sequence.


The entire nucleotide sequence of the chicken cardiac alpha-actin (CC alpha A) gene has been determined. This is the first complete sequence of a cardiac actin gene that includes the promoter region, cap site, all the introns, and the polyadenylation site. The gene contains six introns, five of which interrupt the coding region at amino acids (aa) 41, 150, 204, 267, and 327. The first intron is in the 5'-noncoding region and is 438 bp in length. The CC alpha A gene encodes an mRNA of approx. 1400 bp with 5'- and 3'-untranslated region of 59 and 184 nucleotides (nt), respectively. Like the chicken skeletal alpha-actin gene, the CC alpha A gene has the codon for the aa cysteine between the initiator ATG and the codon for the N-terminal aspartic acid residue of the mature protein. There are no strong homologies (less than 13 consecutive nt) in the promoter or 3'-untranslated regions between the CC alpha A and chicken skeletal alpha-actin genes even though both are expressed in skeletal muscle during development. However, the 3'-untranslated region of the CC alpha A gene demonstrates significant sequence homology (76% over a 200-nt region) with the same region in the partial sequence of the human cardiac gene. The conservation of these sequence homologies between identical isoforms rather than the different alpha actin genes suggests these conserved regions may have a role in regulation rather than tissue-specific expression, as previously proposed.

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