Characterization of a Murine Keratin Gene
Foster, David J.
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Keratins are a group of related proteins that are the major differentiation product of epidermal cells. The mass of keratin proteins ranges from 40 to 70 kiloDaltons. Keratins of 55, 59 and 67 kDal. are the major protein products of newborn mouse epidermis. Several studies have' found unusual sized keratin proteins in diseased and cancerous epidermal cells. Very little is known (published) about the structure of keratin genes. This study involved the isolation and characterization of the 59 kDal. keratin gene. Through the use of 32 p-labeled cDNA (DNA complementary to the 59 kDal. keratin mRNA), fragments containing translated material were screened from the mouse genomic library. These translated DNA fragments were isolated from their lambda phage particles, recloned into plasmid pBR 322, and characterized using restriction enzymes. The results indicate that the 59 kDal. keratin gene contains sections of untranslated(intron) DNA that separate the translated regions.