Expression and genomic structure of the genes encoding FdI, the major allergen from the domestic cat.
The genes encoding chain 1 (Ch1) and chain 2 (Ch2) of the major allergen of the domestic cat, Felis domesticus I, have been analyzed by genomic cloning and by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Ch1 has two potential leader sequences, designated A and B. Analysis of a genomic clone encoding Ch1 demonstrated that one structural gene contains sequences corresponding to both leaders, which utilize different Met start codons. PCR analysis showed that genes encoding Ch1 and Ch2 are co-expressed in both the salivary glands and the skin, and that leader sequence A of Ch1 is utilized preferentially in both tissues. Ch2 was shown to have two dominant forms that are differentially expressed in the aforementioned tissues. The long form (Ch2L), composed of 92 amino acids (aa), is preferentially expressed in the salivary glands, while the short form (Ch2S), composed of 90 aa, is preferentially expressed in the skin. There is minor sequence polymorphism in both forms of Ch2. A genomic clone for Ch2 only contained sequences for Ch2S, suggesting that Ch2L is encoded by an exon not contained within this genomic clone.