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Gene. 1998 Dec 28;225(1-2):59-65.

Identification, characterization and mapping of the human ZIS (zinc-finger, splicing) gene.

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  • 1Department of Human Genetics, Nagasaki University School of Medicine, Sakamoto 1-12-4, Nagasaki, Japan.


From a human fetal brain cDNA library, we isolated two transcripts (ZIS-1 and ZIS-2) corresponding to the human ZIS gene, an ortholog of the rat Zis (zinc finger, splicing). A comparison of base sequences of the cDNA and its corresponding genomic DNA (a P1-derived artificial chromosome clone) revealed that both transcripts have an ORF of 1011bp and encodes 337 amino acids, but ZIS-1 has 10 exons and ZIS-2 contains 11 exons. Although both transcripts share the first nine exons, exon 10 of ZIS-2 is lacking in ZIS-1, and instead, exon 11 (10th exon) of ZIS-1 is larger in size, leading to the longer 3'-UTR. Thus, the two transcripts result from differential splicing. A Northern blot analysis on various adult and fetal tissues revealed that 5.2- and 3.2-kb transcripts were ubiquitously expressed, and 3.9- and 1.9-kb transcripts were highly expressed in the fetal brain and kidney, respectively. There were several other transcripts that may be alternatively processed forms of the human ZIS. Considering the ZIS gene size, the 3.2-kb transcripts most likely corresponds to ZIS-1 and may act as a major transcript of ZIS. The human ZIS has a high homology to the rat Zis for the coding DNA sequence with 91% identity and for the amino acid sequence with 87% identity. ZIS and Zis contain the same numbers of exons and introns. Both genes have unusually long 3'-UTR, and their encoding proteins contain similar components, i.e. a zinc finger domain, a nuclear localization signal, an Asp-Glu region, and a Ser-Arg-rich region. Furthermore, the expression patterns of the two genes in tissues are similar each other. Thus, the human ZIS may act as a transcriptional factor to regulate transcription and/or splicing, as does the rat Zis.

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