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

Identification of a cytochrome P450 gene by reverse transcription--PCR using degenerate primers containing inosine.

A cytochrome P450-like gene, tentatively named P450CMEF, was amplified by a mixed oligonucleotide-primed amplification of cDNA from C3H mouse embryo fibroblast cells, designated 10T1/2, that had been treated with 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA) or benz[a]anthracene (BA). A set of inosine-containing degenerate primers that were targeted to two conserved regions of known cytochrome P450 cDNAs were used. One primer was coded for the well-described and conserved heme-binding region of P450 enzymes, and the second was designed based upon other considerations of homology among P450 molecules. One of the four PCR-amplified cDNA products hybridized to two major RNA bands, 4.2 and 5.3 kb, that were induced by DMBA or BA. The amino acid sequence of the fragment deduced from the base-sequence data indicate that the amplified cDNA has a 50-55% identity with the cytochrome P450 subfamily 1A. The induction of P450CMEF mRNA preceded the induction of aryl hydrocarbon hydroxylase activity after DMBA or BA treatment, suggesting that the product of P450CMEF is involved in the metabolism of these polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in 10T1/2 cells. From the partial sequence of the cDNA identified by this procedure, we propose that P450CMEF is a member of the P450 superfamily, possibly in a subfamily of family 1, that is induced in 10T1/2 cells by DMBA and BA. This method should be useful in identifying additional P450 genes and genes in other gene families.[1]


  1. Identification of a cytochrome P450 gene by reverse transcription--PCR using degenerate primers containing inosine. Shen, Z., Wells, R.L., Liu, J., Elkind, M.M. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1993) [Pubmed]
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