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Br J Haematol. 1997 Jul;98(1):157-69.

Exon/intron structure of the human AF-4 gene, a member of the AF-4/LAF-4/FMR-2 gene family coding for a nuclear protein with structural alterations in acute leukaemia.

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Department of Genetics, University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Erlangen, Germany.


The AF-4 gene on human chromosome 4q21 is involved in reciprocal translocations to the ALL-1 gene on chromosome 11q23, which are associated with acute lymphoblastic leukaemias. A set of recombinant phage carrying genomic fragments for the coding region and flanking sequences of the AF-4 gene were isolated. Phage inserts were assembled into four contigs with 21 exons, and an intron phase map was produced enabling the interpretation of translocation-generated fusion proteins. The gene contains two alternative first exons, 1a and 1b, both including a translation initiation codon. The translocation breakpoint cluster region is flanked by exons 3 and 6 and two different polyadenylation signals were identified. Polyclonal antisera directed against three different portions of the AF-4 protein were produced and used to detect a 116 kD protein in cellular extracts of human B-lymphoblastoid and proB cell lines. In mitogen-stimulated human peripheral blood mononuclear cells the AF-4 antigen was predominantly located in the nucleus. The AF-4 gene is a member of the AF-4, LAF-4 and FMR-2 gene family. The members of this family encode serine-proline-rich proteins with properties of nuclear transcription factors. Comparison of AF-4 protein coding sequences with the LAF-4 and FMR-2 sequences revealed five highly conserved domains of potential functional relevance.

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