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Eur J Biochem. 1995 Jan 15;227(1-2):116-22.

Structure of the human urokinase receptor gene and its similarity to CD59 and the Ly-6 family.

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Division of Clinical Sciences, John Curtin School of Medical Research, Australian National University, Canberra.


Urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (uPAR) gene expression has been implicated in many important biological processes including cell invasiveness and migration. The uPAR gene was cloned from a human genomic library by hybridization with a uPAR cDNA. The complete structure of the human uPAR gene, including a 21.23-kb transcription unit with 204 bp 5' and 239 bp 3' flanking sequences, was determined by comparison with the uPAR cDNA sequence. The uPAR gene is composed of seven exons and six introns. The seven exons of 101, 111, 144, 162, 135, 147 and 563 bp are separated by six introns of approximately 2.04, 2.62, 8.42, 0.906, 3.10 and 2.78 kb. Exons 1-7 encode 19, 37, 48, 54, 45, 49 and 83 amino acid residues, respectively. A CpG-rich island and sequences related to the transcription factors AP-1, AP-2, c-Jun and NF kappa B are present, but no potential TATA or CAAT boxes were found in the proximal 5' region of the uPAR gene. Comparison of the exon organization of the uPAR gene with that of human CD59 and murine Ly-6 reveals similarity to all three domains encoded by the uPAR exons (2 + 3), (4 + 5) and (6 + 7). These data enable elucidation of the mechanisms involved in regulation of the uPAR gene expression and provide further evidence that the uPAR gene belongs to the Ly-6 superfamily.

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