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Immunogenetics. 1996;44(2):134-42.

Sequence and characterization of two HSP70 genes in the colonial protochordate Botryllus schlosseri.

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Stanford University, Department of Pathology, Stanford University Medical Center, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.


Two genes belonging to the heat shock protein 70 gene family have been cloned from the colonial protochordate Botryllus schlosseri. The two intronless genes (HSP70.1 and HSP70.2) exhibit 93.6% sequence identity within the predicted coding region, and 83.3% and 81.7% sequence identity in the 5' and 3' flanking regions, respectively. The predicted amino acid sequences are 95% identical and contain several signatures characteristic of cytoplasmic eukaryotic HSP70 genes (Gupta et al. 1994; Rensing and Maier 1994). Northern blotting and sequence analysis suggest that both genes are heat-inducible members of the HSP70 gene family. Given these characteristics, HSP70.1 and HSP70.2 appear to be good candidates for protochordate homologues of the major histocompatibility complex-linked HSP70 genes of human, mouse, and rat (Milner and Campbell 1990; Walter et al. 1994). Further experiments to determine whether there is functional evidence for such similarity are in progress.

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