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Dev Biol. 1984 Mar;102(1):51-60.

Differential expression of albumin and alpha-fetoprotein genes in fetal tissues of mouse and rat.


We have carried out a comparative analysis of the expression of the albumin and alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) genes in yolk sac and liver at different stages of fetal and postnatal life, in rat and mouse. Albumin and AFP mRNA levels were examined in these tissues by R0t analysis of RNA excess-cDNA hybridization data and/or by Dot blot hybridization. In addition, size analysis of the mRNA sequences were performed by electrophoretic fractionation on agarose gels containing methylmercury hydroxide and hybridization to radioactive cloned rat and mouse albumin and AFP cDNA probes. In the mouse, substantial amounts of albumin mRNA molecules were found in the yolk sac at different stages of development, while minimal levels of albumin mRNA sequences were detected in the rat yolk sac. The mouse yolk sac albumin mRNA molecules were found to be associated with the polysomes and to be functional in cell-free translation systems. In the rat, a reciprocal relationship appears to exist between the concentrations of the two mRNAs in yolk sac and embryonic liver. In contrast, in the mouse a parallel increase in both albumin and AFP mRNA levels was found in these tissues during fetal development. These results suggest that the expression of the albumin and AFP genes may be subjected to different regulatory events in these two members of the Muridae family.

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