Complete nucleotide sequences of bovine alpha S2- and beta-casein cDNAs: comparisons with related sequences in other species.
The nucleotide sequences corresponding to bovine alpha S2- and beta-casein mRNAs have been determined by cDNA analysis. Both sequences appear to be complete at their 5' ends. The nucleotide sequence of alpha S2-casein, when compared with the corresponding cavine A sequence, helps to define the boundaries of a large amino acid repeat (approximately 80 residues) whereas comparisons with the nucleotide sequences of rat gamma- and mouse epsilon-casein mRNAs also reveal extensive sequence similarities. An alignment of these four sequences shows that the divergence of their translated regions has been characterized by the duplication and deletion of discrete segments of sequence that probably correspond to exons. A high degree of nucleotide substitution is also found when the four sequences are compared, except for well-conserved leader-peptide and phosphorylation-site sequences and, to a lesser extent, the 5'-untranslated regions. Similar comparison of the bovine and rat beta-caseins shows that their divergence has involved a high rate of nucleotide substitution but that no major insertions or deletions of sequence have occurred. The several splice sites that have veen defined in the rat beta-casein gene are likely to have been conserved in the bovine. The contrasting evolutionary histories of the alpha- and beta-casein coding sequences correlate with the distinctive functions of these proteins in the casein micelle system in milk.