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

Cloning of human neuronatin gene and its localization to chromosome-20q 11.2-12: the deduced protein is a novel "proteolipid'.

Human brain development is a continuum governed by differential gene expression. Therefore, we proceeded to identify genes selectively expressed in the developing brain. Using differential display and library screening, a novel rat cDNA, neuronatin, was identified and used to screen a human fetal brain cDNA library. Human neuronatin cDNA was isolated and sequenced. The cDNA was 1159 bp long and corresponded in size to the 1.25 kb message detected on Northern analysis. Neuronatin mRNA was selectively expressed in human brain during fetal development, but became repressed in adulthood. When studied in the rat, neuronatin mRNA first appeared at mid-gestation in association with the onset of neurogenesis, becoming most pronounced later in development when neuroepithelial proliferation and neuroblast commitment are manifest, and declined postnatally coinciding with the completion of neurogenesis. The deduced protein has two distinct domains, a hydrophobic N-terminal and basic C-terminal rich in arginine residues. Both the amino acid sequence and secondary structure of this amphipathic polypeptide exhibited homology to PMP1 and phospholamban, members of the "proteolipid' class of proteins which function as regulatory subunits of membrane channels. The neuronatin gene, 3973 bases long, contains in its 5'-flanking region a neural restrictive silencer element which may govern neuron-specific expression. Based on screening a somatic cell hybrid panel, neuronatin gene was assigned to chromosome-20. And, using deletion constructs of chromosome-20 and fluorescence in situ hybridization, neuronatin was localized to chromosome-20q11.2-12. In conclusion, neuronatin is a novel human gene that is developmentally regulated and expressed in the brain. The deduced protein is a proteolipid that may function as a unique regulator of ion channels during brain development. The definitive localization of neuronatin to human chromosome 20q11.2-12 provides the basis to investigate this gene as a candidate in neuro-developmental diseases that may also map to this region.[1]


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