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Immunology. 1997 May;91(1):1-6.

Characterization of the bovine C alpha gene.

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Department of Bio Sciences, NOVUM, Karolinska Institute, Huddinge, Sweden.


The complete genomic sequence of a bovine C alpha gene is reported here. The genomic sequence was obtained from a C alpha phage clone that had been cloned from a genomic EMBL4 phage vector library. The C alpha sequence had previously been expressed as a chimeric antibody and identified as IgA using IgA-specific antibodies. Intron/exon boundaries were determined by comparison of the genomic sequence with an expressed bovine C alpha sequence obtained from spleen by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Analysis of 50 Swedish bovine genomic DNA samples using genomic blots and five different restriction enzymes failed to detect evidence of polymorphism. However, PstI digests of Brown Swiss DNA showed a restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP), suggesting that at least two allelic variants of bovine IgA exist. Comparison of the deduced amino acid sequence of bovine IgA with sequences available for other species indicated that the highest homology was with that of swine, another artiodactyl. This was the highest homology observed for all mammalian IgA compared except for that between IgA1 and IgA2 in humans. Bovine IgA shares with rabbit IgA3 and IgA4, an additional N-linked glycosylation site at position 282. However, the collective data indicate that cattle are like swine and rodents and unlike rabbits in having a single locus of the gene encoding IgA of this species.

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