, Volume 57, Issue 11, pp 1593-1612

Gene structure and function of the 2′-5′-oligoadenylate synthetase family

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2′-5′-Oligoadenylate synthetase was among the first interferon-induced antiviral enzymes to be discovered. This family of enzymes plays an important role in the mechanisms of action of interferon antiviral activity, but is also involved in other cellular processes such as apoptosis and growth control. We have reviewed the function and genomic structure of this class of at least nine proteins. By studying the recently available data in the human genome database and the human Expressed Sequence Tag database, we have been able to build a comprehensive picture of the 2′-5′-oligoadenylate synthetase gene family and its precise location on chromosome 12. Chromosomal localization as well as the intron/exon structure of all four genes has been established and an overview of the splice variant forms of the 2′-5′-oligoadenylate synthetases arising from expression of the four genes is presented. Alignments of the human 2′-5′-oligoadenylate synthetase sequences with non-human 2′-5′-oligoadenylate synthetase sequences suggest that the exon structure and several amino acid sequence motifs have been conserved during evolution.

Received 17 February 2000; received after revision 13 April 2000; accepted 16 May 2000