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Structural organization of the human MS4A gene cluster on Chromosome 11q12

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CD20, the high-affinity IgE receptor β chain (FcεRIβ), and HTm4 are structurally related cell surface proteins expressed by hematopoietic cells. Recently, 16 novel human and mouse genes were identified that encode new members of this nascent protein family that we have named the membrane-spanning 4A gene family, with at least 12 subgroups (MS4A1MS4A12). In the current study, we identified three additional human MS4A genes: MS4A4E, MS4A6E, and MS4A10. All family members have at least four potential transmembrane domains and N- and C-terminal cytoplasmic domains encoded by distinct exons, except MS4A6E which contains two transmembrane domains. Otherwise, the 12 currently identified MS4A genes share common structural features and similar intron/exon splice boundaries, and are clustered along an ~600-kb region of Chromosome 11q12. In contrast to other MS4A genes, MS4A4E, MS4A6E, and MS4A10 transcripts were rare and not detected among hematopoietic cells and most nonlymphoid tissues. Sequence polymorphisms were identified in the MS4A6E gene and common splice variants were observed for the MS4A4A, MS4A5, MS4A6A, and MS4A7 genes. Thus, the MS4A family currently includes 24 distinct human and mouse genes. Like CD20 and FcεRIβ, the 10 other human MS4A family members are likely to be components of oligomeric cell surface complexes involved in signal transduction in diverse cell lineages.

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Liang, Y., Buckley, T.R., Tu, L. et al. Structural organization of the human MS4A gene cluster on Chromosome 11q12. Immunogenetics 53, 357–368 (2001).

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