, Volume 33, Issue 5-6, pp 352-360

Molecular cloning of the gene coding for the human T cell differentiation antigen CD7

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The CD7 molecule is a differentiation antigen found on the surface of T lymphocytes and also on a very minor fraction of acute nonlymphocytic leukemia (ANLL). To study the genomic structure of the CD7 gene, two clones (SY4 and SY22) were isolated by screening a genomic library with a CD7 cDNA probe. Restriction mapping of these two phage clones showed that both overlapped each other, covering a total length of 23 kilobases (kb). Transfection of mouse L cells demonstrated that SY22 contains the gene expressing the CD7 antigen reactive with monoclonal CD7 antibody (Tp40), while SY4 does not. Subcloning of a 10.5 kb fragment from a 14.4 kb insert of SY22 contained the structural gene for the CD7 antigen. Detailed restriction mapping and partial sequence analysis revealed the CD7 gene to consist of four exons. By RNase protection assay, multiple initiation sites — 122 base pairs (bp) to — 38 bp from ATG translation initiation site were demonstrated. The promoter region had high G+C content and contained two SP1 binding sites (CCGCCC) and an AP2 binding site (CCCCAGGC), but lacked CAAT and TATA motifs.