Human myosin heavy chains are encoded by a multigene family consisting of at least 10 members. A gene-specific oligonucleotide has been used to isolate the human beta myosin heavy chain gene from a group of twelve nonoverlapping genomic clones. We have shown that this gene (which is expressed in both cardiac and skeletal muscle) is located 3.6kb upstream of the alpha cardiac myosin gene. We find that DNA sequences located upstream of rat and human alpha cardiac myosin heavy chain genes are very homologous over a 300bp region. Analogous regions of two other myosin genes expressed in different muscles (cardiac and skeletal) show no such homology to each other. While a human skeletal muscle myosin heavy chain gene cluster is located on chromosome 17, we show that the beta and alpha human cardiac myosin heavy chain genes are located on chromosome 14.
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