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J Biol Chem. 1999 Feb 5;274(6):3355-62.

Characterization of genes encoding known and novel human mast cell tryptases on chromosome 16p13.3.

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Cardiovascular Research Institute and Departments of Medicine and Laboratory Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, California 94143-0911, USA.


Tryptases are serine proteases implicated in asthma and are very highly expressed in human mast cells. They fall into two groups, alpha and beta. Although several related tryptase mRNAs are known, it is unclear which if any are transcripts of separate haploid genes. The studies described here investigated the nature and number of human tryptases and sought possibly novel members of the family. To this end, two human bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) clones containing tryptase genes were identified and mapped to chromosome 16p13.3, of which approximately 2.2 megabases are syntenic with the part of mouse chromosome 17 containing tryptase genes mouse mast cell protease (mMCP)-6 and -7. Sequencing and restriction mapping suggest that the BACs may partially overlap. Sequenced BAC genes correspond to three known beta-tryptases (betaI, betaII, and betaIII), an alpha-like gene, and a pair of novel hybrid genes related partly to alpha/beta-tryptases and partly to orthologs of mMCP-7. betaII and betaIII, betaI and alphaII, as well as the two mMCP-7-like genes, may be alleles at single loci; in total, there are at least three nonallelic tryptase genes in the isolated BAC clones. DNA blotting and restriction analysis suggest that the BACs include most members of the immediate tryptase family. Thus, chromosome 16p13.3 harbors a cluster of known and previously undescribed members of the tryptase gene family.

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