Genomic sequence analysis of Fugu rubripes CFTR and flanking genes in a 60 kb region conserving synteny with 800 kb of human chromosome 7.

Davidson H, Taylor MS, Doherty A, Boyd AC, Porteous DJ

Genome Research

Genome Res. 2000 Aug;10(8):1194-203.

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To define control elements that regulate tissue-specific expression of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane regulator (CFTR), we have sequenced 60 kb of genomic DNA from the puffer fish Fugu rubripes (Fugu) that includes the CFTR gene. This region of the Fugu genome shows conservation of synteny with 800-kb sequence of the human genome encompassing the WNT2, CFTR, Z43555, and CBP90 genes. Additionally, the genomic structure of each gene is conserved. In a multiple sequence alignment of human, mouse, and Fugu, the putative WNT2 promoter sequence is shown to contain highly conserved elements that may be transcription factor or other regulatory binding sites. We have found two putative ankyrin repeat-containing genes that flank the CFTR gene. Overall sequence analysis suggests conservation of intron/exon boundaries between Fugu and human CFTR and revealed extensive homology between functional protein domains. However, the immediate 5' regions of human and Fugu CFTR are highly divergent with few conserved sequences apart from those resembling diminished cAMP response elements (CRE) and CAAT box elements. Interestingly, the polymorphic polyT tract located upstream of exon 9 is present in human and Fugu but absent in mouse. Similarly, an intron 1 and intron 9 element common to human and Fugu is absent in mouse. The euryhaline killifish CFTR coding sequence is highly homologous to the Fugu sequence, suggesting that upregulation of CFTR in that species in response to salinity may be regulated transcriptionally.

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