We determined the nucleotide sequences of three nonallelic cytochrome c genes (from recombinant clones Ch4A-RC5, 6 and 8) isolated from the rat cytochrome c gene family. In contrast with a fourth gene (from Ch4A-RC4), which has an intron and correctly encodes rat cytochrome c, these three appear to be pseudogenes and resemble mRNA molecules in two respects: they are all missing the intron of clone 4, and sequence homology with clone 4 in their 3′ noncoding regions abruptly ends at two different A-rich tracts reminiscent of poly(A) tails. We also detect three cytochrome c mRNAs of sizes 1400, 1100 and 700 nucleotides in several tissues of the adult rat. The size differences among the mRNAs can be accounted for by length heterogeneity in their 3′ noncoding regions. Two of the 3′ ends map to the two points where the mRNA-like genes diverge from clone 4 at poly(A) tracts. Furthermore, short direct repeats flank the genes of clones 5, 6 and 8 at the positions where their sequences diverge. The observations suggest that these members of the cytochrome c multigene family may arise through insertion into the genome of DNA copies of cytochrome c mRNAs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)