Article révisé par les pairs
Résumé : Mucin glycoproteins are a major constituent of salivary secretions and play a primary role in the protection of the oral cavity. Rat submandibular glands (RSMG) synthesize and secrete a low molecular weight (114 kDa) mucin glycoprotein. We have isolated, partially sequenced, and characterized the gene which encodes the RSMG apomucin. The gene is encoded by three exons of 106 nt, 69 nt, and 991 nt, separated by introns of 921 nt and 12.5 kb. CAAT and TATA elements are present, at -68 and -26, respectively, in the 5' flanking sequence of the RSMG apomucin gene. The tandem repeat domain present in exon III consists of ten tandem repeats of 39 nt encoding the consensus sequence PTTDSTTPAPTTK. Sequence comparison and organization of the nucleic acid sequence encoding the tandem repeats of two alleles for this gene suggests that the apomucin gene has undergone recombinational events during its evolution. No significant sequence similarity was found with other mucin genes, or with other known salivary gland-specific genes. The gene was localized to rat chromosome 14 using somatic cell hybrids that segregate rat chromosomes. Since this, to our knowledge, represents the first RSMG mucin gene cloned, we have designated this gene Mucsmg.