Isolation and characterization of the rat proenkephalin gene

H. Rosen, J. Douglass, E. Herbert

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The rat proenkephalin gene has been isolated by molecular cloning and characterized by DNA-sequence analysis. The gene exhibits a structural organization similar to that of the human gene. The nucleotide sequence encoding the biologically active opioid peptides which are generated from the proenkephalin precursor as well as the 3' untranslated region of the mRnA are found on a large exon at the 3' end of the gene (Exon III). The nucleotide sequence encoding the N terminus of the mature protein and its signal peptide are located on Exon II while Exon I encodes the 5' untranslated region of the mRNA. The nucleotide sequence of these exons and their flanking regions has been determined and compared to the human proenkephalin gene. Analysis of the nucleotide sequence homology between the human and rat proenkephalin gene reveals the presence of highly conserved regions within both the coding and noncoding portions of the genes. Enkephalin-coding sequences as well as 5' flanking sequences appear to be the most highly conserved. The importance and possible function of these sequences are discussed.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)14309-14313
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number22
StatePublished - 1984
Externally publishedYes


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