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Oncogene. 1997 Jul 24;15(4):453-7.

Cloning a novel member of the human interferon-inducible gene family associated with control of tumorigenicity in a model of human melanoma.

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  • 1Laboratory of Cancer Genetics, National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


Chromosome 6-mediated suppression of tumorigenicity in malignant melanoma cell lines provides a model system to identify genes associated with the reversion of the tumorigenic phenotype. Using subtractive cDNA selection, we recently identified a series of novel genes which are differentially expressed in association with chromosome 6-mediated suppression. We now report the molecular characterization of a novel gene termed AIM2 for (Absent In Melanoma), which represents a 1485 bp cDNA. An open reading frame of 1032 base pairs, corresponding to 344 amino acid residues, is predicted. The predicted protein shares a conserved sequence domain of approximately 200 amino acids with known interferon-inducible genes of both human and mouse. We demonstrate that the AIM2 gene encodes a transcript of approximately 2 kb which is expressed in spleen, small intestine, and peripheral blood leukocytes. In addition, we have localized AIM2 to the long arm of human chromosome 1 (band q22) in a highly conserved region which also contains the known interferon-inducible genes IFI16 and MNDA. We have also demonstrated that, like IFI16 and MNDA, AIM2 is induced in HL60 cells by interferon gamma. Our findings support the existence of a family of genes in this region similar to the well-characterized mouse Ifi200 gene family.

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