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Biochim Biophys Acta. 1994 Sep 13;1219(1):15-25.

Structure, promoter analysis and chromosomal assignment of the human APEX gene.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Biology, Okayama University Medical School, Japan.


APEX nuclease is a mammalian DNA repair enzyme having apurinic/apyrimidinic endonuclease, 3'-5'-exonuclease, DNA 3' repair diesterase and DNA 3'-phosphatase activities. This report describes the organization of the gene (APEX gene) for human APEX nuclease. Human APEX gene was cloned using human APEX cDNA and a human leukocyte genomic library in bacteriophage vector EMBL-3. We proved that human APEX gene consists of 5 exons spanning 2.64 kilobases and suggested that the gene exists as a single copy in the haploid genome. The boundaries between exon and intron follow the GT/AG rule. The major transcription initiation site was assigned by primer extension analysis to C at 515 nucleotides upstream from the ATG initiation codon. The translation initiation and termination sites locate in the exon II and V, respectively. The 5' flanking region (0.89 kilobase) sequenced lacks typical TATA and CAAT boxes, but contains TATA- and CAAT-like sequences and putative cis-acting regulatory elements such as binding sites for Sp1, AP2 and ATF. A part of the 5' flanking region belongs to a CpG island, which extends to the intron II. The CpG island is thought to be a transcription regulatory region of APEX gene, a housekeeping gene. The promoter activity of the 5' upstream region was analyzed by introducing the region in HeLa cells in an expression construct containing luciferase gene as a reporter gene, and the region from position 130 bp upstream to position 205 bp downstream of the major transcription initiation site was shown to be enough for high promoter activity. Northern hybridization experiments suggested that the gene is expressed ubiquitously in human cells. The locus of APEX gene was mapped to human chromosome 14q11.2-q12 using the in situ hybridization technique.

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