We have determined the exon-intron structure of the human TFE3 gene located on Xp11.22-23. By designing PCR primers, we were able to amplify various segments of the TFE3 genomic region, thus establishing that this gene is composed of seven exons, the first six of which are small (from 56 to 159 nt). The 5' UT region is contained entirely in the first exon, while the 3' UT region is contained in the seventh exon. The comparison of the genomic and the published cDNA versions revealed that the deduced amino acid sequence of TFE3 in the C-terminus region is 125 amino acids shorter than previously reported. This eliminates most of the putative proline- and arginine-rich domain and makes the human sequence more similar to its mouse homolog. The activation domain at the N-terminus is contained in exon 2, as has been described for the mouse. The basic helix-loop-helix (BHLH) motif is spread over exons 4 to 6, while the leucine zipper (LZ) is almost all contained in the last portion of exon 6. This split BHLH is different from other BHLH-LZ genes whose genomic structures have been determined up to now.
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