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The structure and transcription of a rat RT1 B alpha class II gene Barran, Paul Arthur


The major histocompatibility complex of the rat (RT1 complex) encodes two sets of class II molecules referred to as RT1 B and RT1 D. The RT1 Bα gene was isolated from a Sprague-Dawley (RT1b) rat genomic library using a rat RT1 Bα chain cDNA as a hybridization probe. The coding and the majority of the intron DNA sequence was determined. The structure of the RT1 Bα gene is equivalent to that of H-2 and HLA a chain genes. Comparison of the nucleotide and predicted amino acid sequences of the RT1 Bα gene to those of the H-2 and HLA genes revealed a high degree of overall sequence conservation. However, two regions of the first external domain (a1), residues 19-23 and 45-78, exhibit marked sequence variation. Two blocks of conserved nucleotide sequence were identified in the 5' promoter region of the RT1 Bα gene that have been described in all MHC class II genes sequenced to date. These conserved sequences may be involved in the co-ordinate regulation of expression of class II genes. The cloned RT1 Bα gene was efficiently transcribed when transfected into mouse L cells.

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