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Brain Res. 1986 Dec;387(3):243-50.

Cloning and developmental expression of the murine neurofilament gene family.


DNA clones encoding the 3 mouse neurofilament (NF) genes have been isolated by cross-hybridization with a previously described NF-L cDNA probe from the rat. Screening of a lambda gt10 cDNA library prepared from mouse brain RNA led to the cloning of an NF-L cDNA of 2.0 kb that spans the entire coding region of 541 amino acids and of an NF-M cDNA that covers 219 amino acids from the internal alpha-helical region and the carboxy-terminal domains of the protein. These cDNA clones were used as probes to screen mouse genomic libraries, and cosmid clones containing both NF-L and NF-M sequences were isolated as well as overlapping cosmids containing the NF-H gene. This strongly suggests that the 3 neurofilament genes are organised in a cluster and derived by gene duplication of a common ancestral gene. RNA blot analyses using specific DNA probes for each of the genes indicate that NF mRNAs are differentially expressed during brain development. The NF-L and NF-M mRNAs are detected early in the embryonal brain, with a progressive increase in their levels during development, while the NF-H mRNA is barely detectable at embryonal stages and accumulates later in the postnatal brain.

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