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Isolation and characterization of fra-2, an additional member of the fos gene family.

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  • Research Article
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Medicine


Antiserum raised against a Fos peptide (amino acids Lys-127 to Arg-140 of chicken c-Fos) recognizes a 46-kDa Fos-related protein in cell lysates of growth-stimulated chicken embryo fibroblasts. Induction of the 46-kDa protein is transient but is slightly prolonged relative to c-Fos following growth stimulation. Using a mixed oligonucleotide probe encoding the peptide antigen, we have cloned the chicken genomic locus that encodes this protein and have determined its gene structure. This locus consists of four exons, each of which has some homology with the corresponding exons of the chicken c-fos gene, and it expresses a 6-kilobase mRNA after growth stimulation. The deduced amino acid sequence of the gene (323 amino acids) contains a "leucine zipper" and includes five distinct regions that exhibit strong sequence homology to the recently identified fos-related antigens Fra-1 (rat) and FosB (mouse) as well as c-Fos. Since the other regions of the gene have little homology to any of these three proteins, this gene was named "fra-2." When the fra-2 gene was overexpressed by an avian retrovirus vector, it caused transformation of chicken embryo fibroblasts. The fra-2 gene product formed a complex in cells with the c-Jun protein, indicating that c-fos and fra-2 share biological and biochemical functions.

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