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Extensive size polymorphism of the human keratin 10 chain resides in the C-terminal V2 subdomain due to variable numbers and sizes of glycine loops.

Korge B.P., Gan S.-Q., McBridge O.W., Mischke D., Steinert P.M.

Existing data suggest that the human keratin 10 intermediate filament protein is polymorphic in amino acid sequence and in size. To precisely define the nature of the polymorphism, we have used PCR amplification and sequence analyses on DNA from several individuals including five with documented size variations of the keratin 10 protein. We found no variation in the N-terminal or rod domain sequences. However, we observed many variations in the V2 subdomain near the C terminus in glycine-rich sequences with a variation of as much as 114 base pairs (38 amino acids), but all individuals had either one or two variants. Our results show that (i) the keratin 10 system is far more polymorphic than previously realized, (ii) the polymorphism is restricted to insertions and deletions of the glycine-rich quasipeptide repeats that form the glycine-loop motif in the C-terminal domain, (iii) the polymorphism can be accounted for by simple allelic variations that segregate by normal Mendelian mechanisms, and (iv) the differently sized PCR products most likely represent different alleles of a single-copy gene per haploid genome.

Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 89:910-914(1992) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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