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Arch Biochem Biophys. 1996 Nov 15;335(2):321-32.

Structure of the human gene encoding the protein repair L-isoaspartyl (D-aspartyl) O-methyltransferase.

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Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California, Los Angeles 90095-1569, USA.


The protein L-isoaspartyl/D-aspartyl O-methyltransferase (EC catalyzes the first step in the repair of proteins damaged in the aging process by isomerization or racemization reactions at aspartyl and asparaginyl residues. A single gene has been localized to human chromosome 6 and multiple transcripts arising through alternative splicing have been identified. Restriction enzyme mapping, subcloning, and DNA sequence analysis of three overlapping clones from a human genomic library in bacteriophage P1 indicate that the gene spans approximately 60 kb and is composed of 8 exons interrupted by 7 introns. Analysis of intron/exon splice junctions reveals that all of the donor and acceptor splice sites are in agreement with the mammalian consensus splicing sequence. Determination of transcription initiation sites by primer extension analysis of poly(A)+ mRNA from human brain identifies multiple start sites, with a major site 159 nucleotides upstream from the ATG start codon. Sequence analysis of the 5'-untranslated region demonstrates several potential cis-acting DNA elements including SP1, ETF, AP1, AP2, ARE, XRE, CREB, MED-1, and half-palindromic ERE motifs. The promoter of this methyltransferase gene lacks an identifiable TATA box but is characterized by a CpG island which begins approximately 723 nucleotides upstream of the major transcriptional start site and extends through exon 1 and into the first intron. These features are characteristic of housekeeping genes and are consistent with the wide tissue distribution observed for this methyltransferase activity.

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