Structure and organization of the peridinin-chlorophyll a-binding protein gene in Gonyaulax polyedra
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We have identified a major 32-kDa protein in the dinoflagellate Gonyaulax polyedra as a peridinin-chlorophyll a-binding protein (PCP), based on microsequence data and immunological cross-reaction with antibodies raised against PCP from another dinoflagellate species. A cDNA for this protein, identified by a PCR-based cloning strategy, encoded all 68 of the amino acids microsequenced, thus confirming the identity of the clone. The PCP gene is highly expressed at both the mRNA and protein levels, and only PCP transcripts corresponding in size to the cDNA sequence were detected. Slot blot analyses show that there are roughly 5000 copies of the PCP gene in Gonyaulax, making this gene one of the most highly repeated protein-coding genes ever reported, yet the sequence of the different gene copies in the genome appears extraordinarily well conserved as judged by Southern blot analyses. The gene, as indicated by Southern blot and PCR data, is suggested to be present in 5000 intronless copies arranged head to tail in the genome, separated by conserved 1-kb spacers. Based on the conserved sequence of the spacer region, its presence next to each of the PCP coding sequences, and the uniform size of the PCP transcript, we propose that this region represents a dinoflagellate transcriptional promoter. This putative promoter region contains none of the sequence elements for DNA-binding proteins involved in transcriptional initiation reported in other organisms.
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