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Rat metallothionein-1 structural gene and three pseudogenes, one of which contains 5'-regulatory sequences.

Authors: Andersen, RD  Birren, BW  Taplitz, SJ  Herschman, HR 
Citation: Andersen RD, etal., Mol Cell Biol 1986 Jan;6(1):302-14.
Pubmed: (View Article at PubMed) PMID:3023830

As shown by Southern blot analysis, the metallothionein-1 (MT-1) genes in rats comprise a multigene family. We present the sequence of the MT-1 structural gene and compare its features with other metallothionein genes. Three MT-1 pseudogenes which we sequenced apparently arose by reverse transcription of processed mRNA transcripts. Two of these, MT-1 psi a and MT-1 psi c, are retrogenes which derive from the MT-1 mRNA, having diverged from the MT-1 gene 6.9 and 2.6 million years ago, respectively. The third, MT-1 psi b, differs from the MT-1 cDNA by only three nucleotide alterations. Surprisingly, MT-1 psi b also preserves sequence homology for 142 base pairs 5' to the transcription initiation site of the parent gene; it contains a promoter sequence sufficient for specifying metal ion induction. We identified, by S1 nuclease mapping, an RNA polymerase II initiation site 432 base pairs 5' of the MT-1 transcription initiation site of the MT-1 structural gene which could explain the formation of the mRNA precursor to this pseudogene. We were unable to detect MT-1 psi b transcripts, either in liver tissue or after transfection. We conclude that the absence of detectable transcripts from this pseudogene is due to either a reduced level of transcription or the formation of unstable transcripts as a consequence of the lack of a consensus sequence normally found 3' of transcription termination in the MT-1 structural gene.


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CRRD Object Information
CRRD ID: 633228
Created: 2003-08-29
Species: All species
Last Modified: 2004-05-25
Status: ACTIVE


RGD is funded by grant HL64541 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute on behalf of the NIH.