We identified and characterized a gene encoding a protein that was 92% identical to human ribosomal protein L39. This gene was located on the long arm of chromosome 3, and was composed of three exons and two long introns. Analysis of mRNA expression in 16 types of normal human tissues showed that this gene was expressed specifically in the testis, in sharp contrast to the ubiquitous expression of the ribosomal protein L39 gene. Surprisingly, the new gene was expressed in 19 out of 24 human cancer samples of various tissue origins. When the new gene was expressed in the cell, a translated product was observed by immunofluorescence microscopy in the nucleus, especially strongly in the nucleolus, and in the cytoplasm. Association of this protein with the large subunit of cytoplasmic ribosomes was detected by polyacrylamide-agarose composite gel electrophoresis followed by immunodetection. These immunochemical data suggest a relationship between the new gene and the ribosome. © 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
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