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Cell. 1986 Nov 21;47(4):619-25.

Two forms of the Ia antigen-associated invariant chain result from alternative initiations at two in-phase AUGs.


The Ia antigen-associated invariant chain (In) exists in humans as two major related forms, p33 and p35. The mRNA for In contains two in-phase AUGs, at positions 8 and 56 from the cap site. Cells transfected with a full-length cDNA clone in an expression vector synthesize both p33 and p35. Cell-free translation of mRNA synthesized in vitro from cDNA also produces both forms. When the first ATG is deleted from the cDNA clone, only the smallest form of In is produced. Mutations introduced at the second ATG lead to synthesis of the large form only. The alternative use of two in-phase AUGs on a unique mRNA is thus responsible for the synthesis of p33 and p35. This is the first documented example of such a mechanism in nonviral systems.

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