Cloning and structural analysis of the human c-kit gene.
The recent identification of the mouse White spotting and Steel loci as genes encoding the c-kit receptor and its ligand, respectively, has shed light on the importance of this ligand and receptor in embryogenesis, melanogenesis and hematopoiesis. In order to determine if the c-kit proto-oncogene is involved in human disease, we isolated seven overlapping lambda recombinants, using a fetal brain cDNA, and characterized the normal human gene (KIT). The longest mapped transcript is 5230 bp, is alternatively spliced and includes 21 exons that span more than 70 kb of DNA. From the exon-intron structure, we have localized an alternative splice site to the 3' end of exon 9. The overall c-kit gene structure closely resembles that found in the CSF-1R gene (c-fms). This similarity includes a large first intron, the same number of exons containing translated sequence and very similar exon-intron boundaries. Using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, we have linked KIT to the platelet-derived growth factor receptor A gene, with both residing on a 700-kb BssHI fragment. These data will allow investigation into the control of KIT expression and the potential to identify mutations or altered expression of this gene in human disease.
Vandenbark, GR; deCastro, CM; Taylor, H; Dew-Knight, S; Kaufman, RE
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