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Hum Mol Genet. 1993 Jul;2(7):961-8.

Genomic organization of the sequence coding for fibrillin, the defective gene product in Marfan syndrome.

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Brookdale Center for Molecular Biology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY 10029.


Marfan syndrome results from mutations in an extracellular matrix glycoprotein, fibrillin. Previous studies have characterized approximately 6.9-kb of the estimated 10-kb fibrillin transcript. We have now completed the primary structure of fibrillin, elucidated the exon/intron organization of the gene and derived a physical map of the genetic locus. Pre-fibrillin consists of 2,871 amino acids which, excluding the signal peptide, are arranged into five structurally distinct regions. The largest of these regions comprises about 75% of the entire protein and consists of numerous repeated cysteine-rich sequences homologous to the peptide motifs of the epidermal growth factor (EGF) and transforming growth factor-beta binding protein (TGF-bp). Forty-three of the forty-six EGF-like repeats contain a calcium binding consensus sequence (EGF-CB) conceivably mediating protein-protein interactions. Fibrillin exhibits a few additional cysteine-rich modules that are apparently unique to this macromolecule and may represent evolutionary variants of the EGF-CB and TGF-bp motifs. Almost all of the cysteine-rich repeats are encoded by single exons; consequently, the fibrillin gene is relatively large (approximately 110-kb) and highly fragmented (65 exons). This study provides the first comprehensive analysis of the fibrillin gene and relevant information for the full characterization of Marfan syndrome mutations.

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