mRNA specific to cDNA clone pLK109 is present in Dictyostelium discoideum spores, increases about two- to threefold at 0.5 to 1 h during spore germination, and then rapidly decreases. The mRNA is not detectable in vegetative cells or in early multicellular development on filters, but is present late during development, approximately at the time of sporulation. 109 mRNA in spores is 700 nucleotides in length but this is processed during germination by shortening of the poly(A) tail to about 600 nucleotides at 1 to 1.5 hours. pLK109 is a member of a multigene family containing three separate genes, and we have isolated and sequenced all of them. All three sequences code for deduced proteins of 127 amino acid residues, with only a few amino acid differences among them. Gene 1 represents the "transcribed" gene, since all 33 cDNAs we isolated are identical with the cDNA pLK109 and the coding region of this gene. Other open reading frames are in close proximity to each of the 109 sequences. About 200 base-pairs 3′ to the gene 1 109 sequence is an open reading frame in the opposite orientation. Gene 2 fragment contains a sequence that codes for a protein similar to trypanosome α-tubulin 728 base-pairs 5′ to the 109 sequence. Gene 3 fragment possesses two additional putative coding regions, one 5′ and another 3′ to the 109 gene. There is a remarkable similarity between the 5′ upstream regions of all three genes. Each possesses a normal Dictyostelium TATA box and the usual T stretch. In addition, there are many other portions of about 400 to 500 basepairs of the 5′ regions that are either identical for long stretches or very similar.
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