Genomic organization and nucleotide sequence of two distinct histone gene clusters from Xenopus laevis. Identification of novel conserved upstream sequence elements

Perry, M.; Thomsen, G.H.; Roeder, R.G.

Journal of Molecular Biology 185(3): 479-499


ISSN/ISBN: 0022-2836
PMID: 3863963
DOI: 10.1016/0022-2836(85)90065-8
Accession: 040210425

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We have performed a detailed analysis of the genomic organization and the nucleotide sequence of two distinct Xenopus laevis histone gene clusters totaling approximately 23.5 X 10(3) base-pairs. Each cluster contains at least one copy of each of the five histone genes. However, these genes are present in different arrangements within each cluster and different H1A, H2A and H2B proteins (variants) are encoded by the respective genes of each cluster. Southern blot analysis of genomic X. laevis DNA indicates that each cluster is a member of a distinct family of tandemly repeated histone gene clusters. A comparative analysis of the nucleotide sequences flanking the histone genes within these two clusters has revealed the presence of multiple conserved sequence elements that are specific for each histone gene class and located at preferred upstream positions. Several of these elements correspond to sequences that are known to be required for maximal transcription of the corresponding genes. Most of these sequence elements have not been identified previously, although we find that many of them are present at corresponding locations upstream of histone genes from other organisms. We suggest that the conserved upstream sequence elements may play an important role in the expression of histone genes in vivo.