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J Biol Chem. 1988 Oct 25;263(30):15335-41.

Isolation and complete sequence of a functional human glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase gene.

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Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02114.


Glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (EC (GAPDH) mRNA levels, protein, and enzymatic activity increase in 3T3-F442A adipocytes after exposure to physiological concentrations of insulin (Alexander, M., Curtis, G., Avruch, J., and Goodman, H. (1985) J. Biol. Chem. 260, 11978-11985). In order to understand the mechanism of this regulation, we have isolated and sequenced 5.4 kilobase pairs of a 12-kilobase pair human genomic clone encoding a functional GAPDH gene. The gene consists of 9 exons and 8 introns with eukaryotic signals necessary for the transcription and translation of GAPDH mRNA. The exon sequence confirms previously published cDNA sequences for human GAPDH in muscle, liver, and erythrocytes. The organization of the human and the unique chicken GAPDH genes is strikingly similar. Although chicken exons VIII-XI have been fused into human exon 8, introns which separate exons encoding the NAD binding, catalytic, and helical domains of the GAPDH protein have been retained. Stable transfection of rodent cells with the intact human GAPDH gene resulted in the expression of a correctly initiated human GAPDH mRNA and an enzymatically active human GAPDH polypeptide. Thus, the gene contains a functional promoter and intact coding sequences. Although many processed GAPDH pseudogenes and GAPDH-like sequences are present in the human genome, Southern blot analysis of human genomic DNA using a probe derived from the 3'-untranslated region of the GAPDH gene detected only two genes, a 10-copy processed pseudogene and a single copy of the isolated gene. In contrast, a probe derived from an intron segment of the isolated gene detected only a single copy of the GAPDH gene. Collectively, these findings strongly suggest that the human genome encodes a single functional GAPDH gene.

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