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

Mouse ornithine decarboxylase gene: cloning, structure, and expression.

We used molecular cloning to isolate a functional gene for mouse ornithine decarboxylase (OrnDCase; L-ornithine carboxy-lyase, EC from a cell line in which that gene had been selectively amplified. The position of the 5' terminus of the mRNA was identified, and the coding sequence was shown to be preceded by a 312- or 313-nucleotide (nt) untranslated leader. The latter is highly G + C rich, particularly in its 5'-most portion. The leader can be anticipated to have extensive and stable secondary structure. The transcription unit of the gene is of relatively small size, approximately equal to 6.2 kilobases (kb) from the start site to the proximal site of polyadenylylation. Sequence analysis of DNA near the transcription start position demonstrated the presence of a "TATA" box, but no "CAAT" box. Functional properties of the cloned gene were tested by transfecting it into cultured cells. Expression of the putative full-length gene efficiently conferred ornithine decarboxylase activity on recipient mutant cells deficient in that activity. To assess the function and strength of the OrnDCase promoter region and to delimit its boundaries, we used a transient expression assay. Upstream of a bacterial chloramphenicol acetyltransferase gene was placed a portion of the OrnDCase gene, including the presumed promoter region, spanning a region from approximately equal to 3.0 kb 5' of the site of transcription initiation to the first 250 nt of the transcript. When expressed in mouse NIH 3T3 cells, this OrnDCase genomic element was comparable in strength to the Rous sarcoma virus long terminal repeat promoter. A similar construct, truncated so as to retain only 264 base pairs of the OrnDCase gene 5' to the site of transcription start, yielded undiminished levels of expression.[1]


  1. Mouse ornithine decarboxylase gene: cloning, structure, and expression. Brabant, M., McConlogue, L., van Daalen Wetters, T., Coffino, P. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1988) [Pubmed]
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