We analyzed 137 kb covering human neurofibromatosis 2 (NF2) tumor suppressor locus and orthologous loci from baboon, mouse, rat, and pufferfish Takifugu rubripes. A predominant feature of human-rodent conservation is a very similar distribution of conserved islands, regarding length, position, and degree of identity. By use of a threshold of 75% identity over ≥100 bp of gap-free alignment, comparisons of human-mouse sequences resulted in 3.58% for extra-exonic conservation, which can be compared to 4.5% of exonic sequence content within the human locus. We identified a duplication of neurofibromin 2 in pufferfish, which resulted in two putative proteins with 74% and 76% identity to the human protein. One distinct island (called inter 1), conserved between all analyzed species, was located between promoters of the NIPSNAP1 and NF2 genes. Inter 1 might represent a novel regulatory element, important for the function of this locus. The high level of intronic conservation in the NF2 locus suggests that a number of unknown regulatory elements might exist within this gene. These elements could be affected by disease-causing mutations in NF2 patients and NF2-associated tumors. Alternatively, this conservation might be explained by presence of not yet characterized transcriptional unit(s) within this locus.
Mammalian Genome – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 22, 2003
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