Characterization of the horse (Equus caballus) IGHA gene
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Nucleotide sequences of the immunoglobulin constant heavy chain genes of the horse have been described for IGHM, IGHG and IGHE genes, but not for IGHA. Here, we provide the nucleotide sequence of the genomic IGHA gene of the horse (Equus caballus), including its secretion region and the transmembrane exon. The equine IGHA gene shows the typical structure of a mammalian IGHA gene, with only three exons, separated by two introns of similar size. The hinge exon is located at the 5′ end of the CH2 exon and encodes a hinge region of 11 amino acids, which contains five proline residues. The coding nucleotide sequence of the secreted form of the equine IGHA gene shares around 72% identity with the human IGHA1 and IGHA2 genes, as well as the bovine, ovine, porcine and canine IGHA genes, without distinct preference for any of these species. The same species also cluster together in a phylogenetic tree of the IGHA coding regions of various mammals, whereas rodent, rabbit, marsupial and monotreme IGHA genes each build a separate cluster.