Fisher, S. E., Ciccodicola, A., Tanaka, K., Curci, A., Desicato, S., D'urso, M., & Craig, I. W.
(1997). Sequence-based exon prediction around the synaptophysin locus reveals a gene-rich area containing novel genes in human proximal Xp. Genomics, 45, 340-347. doi:10.1006/geno.1997.4941.
The human Xp11.23-p11.22 interval has been implicated in several inherited diseases including Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome; three forms of X-linked hypercalciuric nephrolithiaisis; and the eye disorders retinitis pigmentosa 2, congenital stationary night blindness, and Aland Island eye disease. In constructing YAC contigs spanning Xp11. 23-p11.22, we have previously shown that the region around the synaptophysin (SYP) gene is refractory to cloning in YACs, but highly stable in cosmids. Preliminary analysis of the latter suggested that this might reflect a high density of coding sequences and we therefore undertook the complete sequencing of a SYP-containing cosmid. Sequence data were extensively analyzed using computer programs such as CENSOR (to mask repeats), BLAST (for homology searches), and GRAIL and GENE-ID (to predict exons). This revealed the presence of 29 putative exons, organized into three genes, in addition to the 7 exons of the complete SYP coding region, all mapping within a 44-kb interval. Two genes are novel, one (CACNA1F) showing high homology to alpha1 subunits of calcium channels, the other (LMO6) encoding a product with significant similarity to LIM-domain proteins. RT-PCR and Northern blot studies confirmed that these loci are indeed transcribed. The third locus is the previously described, but not previously localized, A4 differentiation-dependent gene. Given that the intron-exon boundaries predicted by the analysis are consistent with previous information where available, we have been able to suggest the genomic organization of the novel genes with some confidence. The region has an elevated GC content (>53%), and we identified CpG islands associated with the 5' ends of SYP, A4, and LMO6. The order of loci was Xpter-A4-LMO6-SYP-CACNA1F-Xcen, with intergenic distances ranging from approximately 300 bp to approximately 5 kb. The density of transcribed sequences in this area (>80%) is comparable to that found in the highly gene-rich chromosomal band Xq28. Further studies may aid our understanding of the long-range organization surrounding such gene-enriched regions.