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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Alleles at the PRB3 locus coding for a disulfide-bonded human salivary proline-rich glycoprotein ( Gl 8) and a null in an Ashkenazi Jew.

From electrophoretic analysis, we identified in the saliva of an Ashkenazi Jew a disulfide-bonded major glycoprotein variant ( Gl 8) that is a product of the proline-rich protein ( PRP) locus PRB3. A previous study of this variant protein misidentified it as Pa 2 and as a product of a different PRP locus. The other PRB3 allele in this individual is an apparent null. To identify the mutations, we sequenced the tandemly repetitious exon 3 (the major protein-coding portions) of both alleles. A CGT----TGT (Arg----Cys) mutation was found in one allele (PRB3Scys), which accounts for the disulfide-bonded and peroxidase-modifying properties of Gl 8. A single nucleotide insertion was found in the other allele (PRB3Mnull) that leads to a frameshift with a premature termination codon that causes an apparent lack of gene expression. Null alleles are frequent at PRP loci coding for basic and glycosylated PRPs, and the mechanism described might explain other null phenotypes among PRPs. From nucleotide comparisons, a model of intragenic unequal crossing-over is proposed to explain, in part, the generation of the PRB3Mnull allele. The Gl 8 protein variant is found in Ashkenazi Jews (gene frequency around .008) but not in the general white, black, or Japanese populations. It is interesting that products of different PRP genes, Gl 8 from PRB3 and Pa 1 from PRH1, are both disulfide bonded and probably modify salivary peroxidase (part of an important intraoral antibacterial system) through formation of disulfide-bonded heterodimers.[1]


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