Characterization of the Fugu rubripes NLK and FN5 genes flanking the NF1 (Neurofibromatosis type 1) gene in the 5' direction and mapping of the human counterparts
Kehrer-Sawatzki, H × Moschgath, E Maier, C Legius, Eric Elgar, G Krone, W #
Gene. vol:251 issue:1 pages:63-71
To complete the analysis of the Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) gene region in Fugu rubripes, we characterized the upstream flanking region of the NF1 gene and identified the FN5 (flanking the Fugu NF1 gene in 5' direction) gene and the NLK (Nemo-like kinase) gene as its flanking genes. The FN5 gene spans 3807bp and encompasses four exons, three of which belong to the expanded 5' UTR. Only 11% of the FN5 transcript is protein-coding. The function of the FN5 protein spanning 59 amino acids is unknown. We also characterized the human and the mouse FN5 transcripts and found 85% and 83% similarity of deduced amino acid sequences compared with Fugu. Two copies of the human FN5 gene were identified, one on chromosome 17q21.3-q22 several megabases distal to the NF1 gene at 17q11.2. The second copy of the FN5 gene was mapped to 11q13.3-q23.3. In Fugu, the FN5 gene is flanked by the NLK gene, which spans 4513bp from the translation start to the stop codon and encompasses 11 exons. Comparing the deduced amino acid sequences, 82% overall similarity was observed between Fugu and mouse or human NLK and 67% similarity between the Fugu NLK and the highly related LIT-1 kinase of Caenorhabditis elegans, which has been shown, like the vertebrate counterpart, to be involved in the Wnt signalling pathway. We mapped the human NLK gene to 17q11.2 between markers D17S935 and D17S120, more than 1Mb proximal to the NF1 gene. The characterization of the 5' flanking region presented here, together with that of the 3' region, demonstrates the profound differences between Fugu and human considering the gene content within the region flanking the NF1 gene.