Research paper| Volume 14, ISSUE 1, P1-11, January 1997

Isolation and characterization of genomic clones of human sequences presumably coding for hair cysteine-rich proteins

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      The major biochemical components of the mammalian hair are the intermediate filaments or keratins and the keratin associated proteins. Keratin associated proteins are classified into two groups (high-cysteine and high glycine-tyrosine-rich polypeptides) according to the content of these amino acids. Cysteine-rich group contains high sulphur (16–24% cysteine) and ultra-high sulphur (> 30% cysteine) proteins. We report here the identification of a human sequence presumably coding for a new ultra-high sulphur protein (hUHSp21) and the isolation and characterization of four genomic clones containing six related sequences. We also discuss the possibility that all the genes encoding keratin associated proteins are evolutionary related. These human clones should provide useful molecular tools for studies of hair differentiation and understanding of the molecular basis of human trichothiodystrophy.


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