Human and mouse alpha-synuclein genes: comparative genomic sequence analysis and identification of a novel gene regulatory element.
The human alpha-synuclein gene (SNCA) encodes a presynaptic nerve terminal protein that was originally identified as a precursor of the non-beta-amyloid component of Alzheimer's disease plaques. More recently, mutations in SNCA have been identified in some cases of familial Parkinson's disease, presenting numerous new areas of investigation for this important disease. Molecular studies would benefit from detailed information about the long-range sequence context of SNCA. To that end, we have established the complete genomic sequence of the chromosomal regions containing the human and mouse alpha-synuclein genes, with the objective of using the resulting sequence information to identify conserved regions of biological importance through comparative sequence analysis. These efforts have yielded approximately 146 and approximately 119 kb of high-accuracy human and mouse genomic sequence, respectively, revealing the precise genetic architecture of the alpha-synuclein gene in both species. A simple repeat element upstream of SNCA/Snca has been identified and shown to be necessary for normal expression in transient transfection assays using a luciferase reporter construct. Together, these studies provide valuable data that should facilitate more detailed analysis of this medically important gene.
Touchman, JW; Dehejia, A; Chiba-Falek, O; Cabin, DE; Schwartz, JR; Orrison, BM; Polymeropoulos, MH; Nussbaum, RL
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