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P. Wong, T. Erickson, B. McDonald, K. Rengarajan, S. Gentleman; Characterization of a New Retinal Expressed Gene with an Evolutionarily Conserved Leucine Rich Coil Motif . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2003;44(13):2265.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Purpose:One of our major directives is to define the molecular gene profile of the retina. To do this we have been identifying novel genes that are expressed in the retina and determining the retinal expression status of known genes that have not yet been associated with this tissue. One of the novel genes that we have been characterizing is a gene that we have named Zip. (*co-first author). Methods:Human retina and pancreas cDNA libraries were screened using a 60mer oligonucleotide corresponding to a putative calcium binding domain of CED4. Standard sequence, Northern, Southern, and bioinformatic analyses were used to define the identified clone. Results:A clone corresponding to an uncharacterized gene was serendipitously isolated in the library screen. We named this gene Zip because it has a leucine rich putative zipper domain embedded within a predicted helical coil structure. Both somatic cell hybrid panels and in silico mapping strategies were used to locate the Zip gene to human chromosome 16. Zip codes for a 1600 nucleotide mRNA transcript that is present in the human retina and other tissues. Zooblot analysis revealed that the DNA sequence is evolutionarily conserved. Amino acid analysis of in silico translated human Zip, and presumed mouse, chicken and fruit fly homologues, revealed a series of highly conserved coil motifs. Most striking is a highly conserved leucine-rich coil in the human and mouse protein sequences. Conclusions:The highly conserved nature of the Zip sequence suggests that it may underlie an important role in the cell. Given the amino acid motifs detected in the predicted human, mouse, chicken and fruit fly sequences, we suspect that these regions may represent the functional site of the protein. Additional studies will be required to uncover the precise nature of its function in the retina and in other tissues.
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