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Gene. 1998 Mar 16;209(1-2):77-85.

Analysis of the murine Hoxa-9 cDNA: an alternatively spliced transcript encodes a truncated protein lacking the homeodomain.

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Department of Developmental Genetics, Institute of Molecular Embryology and Genetics, Kumamoto University School of Medicine, Kuhonji 4-24-1, Kumamoto 862, Japan.


Hoxa-9 is one of the homeo box (Hox) genes exhibiting similarity to the Drosophila Abdominal B gene. So far, only partial nucleotide sequences have been reported for mouse Hoxa-9 cDNA (Rubin et al., (1987) Mol. Cell. Biol. 7, 3836-3841). Here, we have determined the nucleotide sequence of the 5'-region of mouse Hoxa-9 cDNA and its genomic structure. Mouse Hoxa-9 cDNA contains a complete ORF encoding a protein of 271aa exhibiting 96.7% identity to its human counterpart. Interestingly, an alternatively spliced transcript (Hoxa-9T) was identified by RT-PCR. Sequence analysis revealed that 173bp within the Hoxa-9 ORF was missing from the Hoxa-9T cDNA. This additional splicing would potentially result in a frameshift, leading to the production of a truncated protein lacking the homeobox. Northern blot analysis revealed that the probe containing the homeodomain hybridized to two major transcripts (2.5 and 1.9kb) in the trunk region of 12.5 dpc embryos, and adult kidney and large intestine. On the other hand, the probe containing the additional intron detected only 2.5kb transcript in the same tissues, indicating that 1.9kb transcript corresponds to Hoxa-9T mRNA. We have also determined the transcriptional start site of Hoxa-9T.

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