Nov 26, 1984

Only three of the seven human chorionic gonadotropin beta subunit genes can be expressed in the placenta

Nucleic Acids Research
K TalmadgeJ C Fiddes


Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is a placental hormone essential for the maintenance of pregnancy. While the alpha subunit of this hormone is encoded by a single gene, the beta subunit is encoded by a complex family of seven very similar genes or pseudogenes. Two approaches have been taken to establish which of these genes are functional. First, we have used two restriction enzyme site polymorphisms to correlate 15 independently isolated beta hCG cDNA clones with their corresponding genes. Second, we have used transient expression in COS cells to assay for correctly-initiated transcription from six of the seven beta hCG gene promoters. From these data, we conclude that, at most, only three of the seven beta hCG genes are expressed in the placenta. Comparison of the sequences of a functional and a non-functional beta hCG gene reveals no obvious differences, such as promoter changes, that could account for this differential expression.

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Mentioned in this Paper

Human Chorionic Gonadotropin
Chorionic Gonadotropin, beta Subunit, Human
Alkalescens-Dispar Group
Placenta Specimen
Restriction Site
Operator gene

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