Characterization of the β2-microglobulin gene of the horse
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- Tallmadge, R.L., Lear, T.L., Johnson, A.K. et al. Immunogenetics (2003) 54: 725. doi:10.1007/s00251-002-0514-0
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A clone containing β2-microglobulin (β2-m), the light chain of the major histocompatibility complex class I cell surface molecule, was isolated from an equine bacterial artificial chromosome library. This clone was used as a template for polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and unidirectional sequencing to elucidate the genomic sequence and intron/exon boundaries. We obtained 7,000 bases of sequence, extending from 1,100 nucleotides (nt) upstream of the coding region start through 1,698 nt downstream of the stop codon. The sequence contained regulatory elements in the region upstream of the coding sequence similar to those of the β2-m gene of other species. The β2-m gene was localized to horse chromosome ECA1q23-q25 by fluorescent in situ hybridization. This was confirmed by synteny mapping on a (horse × mouse) somatic cell hybrid panel. The sequence and intron/exon boundaries determined were used to design PCR primers to amplify and sequence the coding region of the β2-m gene in other equids, including five breeds of domestic horse, one Przewalski's horse, five domestic donkeys and five zebras. A high degree of conservation was found among equids, illustrated by >98% (349/354) identity at the nucleotide level and 95% (113/118) at the amino acid level, because of non-synonymous nucleotide substitutions. The promoter detected in the region upstream of the coding sequence was subcloned and used in chloramphenicol acetyl transferase (CAT) assays to demonstrate the presence of a functional promoter. This study provides tools for the analysis of regulation of not only the horse β2-m gene, but also for any genes dependent upon β2-m for expression.