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

Nucleotide sequence analysis of the human salivary protein genes HIS1 and HIS2, and evolution of the STATH/HIS gene family.

Human histatins are a family of low-M(r), neutral to very basic, histidine-rich salivary polypeptides. They probably function as part of the nonimmune host defense system in the oral cavity. A 39-kb region of DNA containing the HIS1 and HIS2 genes was isolated from two human genomic phage libraries as a series of overlapping clones. The nucleotide sequences of the HIS1 gene and part of the HIS2(1) gene were determined. The transcribed region of HIS1 spans 8.5 kb and contains six exons and five introns. The HIS1 and HIS2(1) genes exhibit 89% overall sequence identity, with exon sequences exhibiting 95% identity. The two loci probably arose by a gene duplication event approximately 15-30 Mya. The HIS1 sequence data were also compared with that of STATH. Human statherin is a low-M(r) acidic phosphoprotein that acts as an inhibitor of precipitation of calcium phosphate salts in the oral cavity. The HIS1 and STATH genes show nearly identical overall gene structures. The HIS1 and STATH loci exhibit 77%-81% sequence identity in intron DNA and 80%-88% sequence identity in noncoding exons but only 38%-43% sequence identity in the protein-coding regions of exons 4 and 5. These unusual data suggest that HIS1, HIS2, and STATH belong to a single gene family exhibiting accelerated evolution between the HIS and STATH coding sequences.[1]


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