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Structure, chromosomal localization and evolutionary conservation of the gene encoding human U1 snRNP-specific A protein.

Nelissen R.L.H., Sillekens P.T.G., Beijer R.P., Geurts van Kessel A.H.M., van Venrooij W.J.

Three specific proteins, called A, 70K and C, are present in the U1 small nuclear ribonucleoprotein (snRNP) particle, in addition to the common proteins. The human U1 snRNP-specific A protein is, apart from a proline-rich region, highly similar to the U2 snRNP-specific protein B". To examine the homologous regions at the genomic level, we isolated and characterized the human U1-A gene. The human U1-A protein appears to be encoded by a single-copy gene and its locus has been mapped to the q arm of chromosome 19. The gene, about 14-16 kb in length, consists of six exons. The regions homologous to the U2-B" gene are not limited to single exons and are mostly not confined by exon-exon junctions in the corresponding U1-A mRNA. However, the proline-rich region of U1-A, absent in U2-B", is encoded by a single exon, suggesting a specific function for this domain of U1-A. The region of the cap site and upstream sequences contain interesting similarities to the promoter region of other snRNP protein-encoding genes and several housekeeping genes, in particular the vertebrate ribosomal protein-encoding genes. Hybridization experiments with various vertebrate genomic DNAs revealed that U1-A sequences are evolutionarily conserved in all tested vertebrate genomes, except for chicken, duck and pigeon. The divergence of these avian genomes is probably typical for the class of birds.

Gene 102:189-196(1991) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]