Gene structure and subcellular localization of FMR2, a member of a new family of putative transcription activators

Jozef Gecz, Susie Bielby, Grant R. Sutherland, John C. Mulley

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FMR2 is the gene associated with FRAXE mental retardation. It is expressed as an 8.7-kb transcript in placenta and adult brain. A fetal- specific FMR2 transcript of approximately 12 kb was detected in fetal brain and at a lower level in fetal lung and kidney. FMR2 is a large gene composed of 22 exons spanning at least 500 kb on Xq28. Alternative splicing involving exons 2, 3, 5, 7, and 21 was not tissue specific as tested on mRNA from human fetal and infant brain. FMR2 is translated into a 1311-amino-acid nuclear protein with putative transcription transactivation potential. Subcellular localization studies with green fluorescent protein as a reporter show that both nuclear addresses found in the FMR2 sequence are functional and direct the FMR2 protein into the nucleus. FMR2 together with AF4 and LAF4 forms a new family of nuclear proteins with DNA-binding capacity and transcription transactivation potential. BLAST searches of the dbEST database revealed the presence of at least two other groups of nonoverlapping ESTs showing high similarity to the FMR2-related family of proteins. One of them, represented by the EST W26686, maps to chromosome 5q31. Amino acid similarity among the proteins encoded by members of the gene family is high in the NH2 terminus, low in the middle, and high again in the COOH end. Available information from members of the family shows that genomic organization is conserved. This FMR2-related gene family encodes nuclear proteins with involvement in mental retardation (FMR2), cancer (AF4), and lymphocyte differentiation (LAF4) or with unknown function (EST W26686 and/or AA025630).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-213
Number of pages13
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 1 Sep 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics

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