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Crit Rev Oral Biol Med. 1993;4(3-4):573-80.

Genomic cloning, physical mapping, and expression of human type 2 cystatin genes.

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  • 1Department of Biological Chemistry, UTHSC-Houston Dental Branch 77225.


Humans carry one gene encoding cystatin C and six to eight genes with homology to an S-like cystatin hybridization probe. However, the precise composition and organization of the cystatin gene family remains to be established. Further, the pattern of tissue-specific expression has not been fully defined. We have previously shown that the type 2 cystatin genes are clustered together in a ca. 270 kb region (the CST locus). To determine the structure of this region, we have sought to clone the entire CST locus. Our approach has been to isolate cosmid and lambda genomic clones carrying cystatin genes and then to use "walk" probes derived from the end regions of these clones to identify other clones, which extend them. To date, we have obtained over 320 kb of distinct sequences. Based on restriction maps, sequencing, and hybridization analyses, we have identified eight apparently nonallelic copies of cystatin genes. These include one gene for cystatin C, four closely related genes encoding S-like cystatins, and three genes encoding relatively divergent sequences. Complete assembly of these clones into an unambiguous contiguous sequence is hampered by the presence of flanking locus-specific repetitive-like sequences. RNase protection assays used to characterize the tissue-specific patterns of expression showed that cystatin C is expressed at modest, comparable levels in all tissues examined, whereas expression of the CST 1 gene, encoding cystatin SA-I, was found to be restricted to a small subset of tissues, with the highest level in the submandibular gland.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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