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Gene. 1998 Aug 17;216(1):131-7.

Comparison of upstream regions of X- and Y-chromosomal amelogenin genes.

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Department of Anatomy and Histology, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.


The amelogenin genes encode abundant enamel proteins that are required for the development of normal tooth enamel. These genes are active only in enamel-forming ameloblasts within the dental organ of the developing tooth, and are part of a small group of genes that are active on both sex chromosomes. The upstream regions of the bovine X- and Y-chromosomal and the sole murine X-chromosomal amelogenin genes have been cloned and sequenced, and conservation at nearly 60% is found in the 300 bp upstream of exon 1 for the 3 genes. A region of the bovine X-chromosomal gene that has inhibitory activity when assayed by gene transfer into heterologous cells includes motifs that have a silencing activity in other genes, and may be important to the mechanism that represses amelogenin expression in non-ameloblast cells in vivo. A comparison of sequences from three genes has led to the identification of several regions with conserved motifs that are strong candidates for having positive or negative regulatory functions, and these regions can now be tested further for interaction with nuclear proteins, and for their ability to regulate expression in vivo.

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