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We have determined the cDNA and genomic structure of a gene (-14 gene) that lies adjacent to the human alpha-globin cluster. Although it is expressed in a wide range of cell lines and tissues, a previously described erythroid-specific regulatory element that controls expression of the alpha-globin genes lies within intron 5 of this gene. Analysis of the -14 gene promoter shows that it is GC rich and associated with a constitutively expressed DNase 1 hypersensitive site; unlike the alpha-globin promoter, it does not contain a TATA or CCAAT box. These and other differences in promoter structure may explain why the erythroid regulatory element interacts specifically with the alpha-globin promoters and not the -14 gene promoter, which lies between the alpha promoters and their regulatory element. Interspecies comparisons demonstrate that the sequence and location of the -14 gene adjacent to the alpha cluster have been maintained since the bird/mammal divergence, 270 million years ago.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





679 - 689


Amino Acid Sequence, Animals, Base Composition, Base Sequence, Biological Evolution, Birds, Cell Line, Chickens, Conserved Sequence, DNA Primers, DNA, Complementary, Exons, Gene Expression Regulation, Globins, Humans, Introns, Mammals, Molecular Sequence Data, Multigene Family, Polymerase Chain Reaction, Promoter Regions, Genetic, Recombinant Proteins, Regulatory Sequences, Nucleic Acid, Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid, TATA Box, Transfection, Tumor Cells, Cultured