alpha-Galactosidase A (alpha-D-galactoside galactohydrolase, EC 184.108.40.206; alpha GalA) is a lysosomal enzyme that hydrolyses the alpha-D-galactosyl residues from glycosphingolipids. Fabry disease, an inhibited X-linked recessive human metabolic disorder, results from a mutation in the alpha GalA gene at Xq22. As a prerequisite for generating a mouse model of Fabry disease by gene targeting, we have isolated and characterized the mouse alpha GalA gene and cDNA. A cloned mouse alpha GalA cDNA encoded a putative precursor protein of 419 amino acids (aa), including a 31-aa signal peptide (SP). The deduced aa sequence showed high homology (79%) with the human alpha GalA protein. Nucleotide sequence analysis of genomic clones revealed that the overall structure and organization of the gene was very similar to that of human alpha GalA. All exon-intron splice junctions conformed to the GT/AG consensus sequence. Comparison of genomic and cDNA sequences revealed the occurrence of two putative polyadenylation signals whose alternative use results in the two mouse alpha GalA transcripts of 1.4 and 3.6 kb. The 5'-flanking region of mouse alpha GalA had no typical TATA box. Several putative promoter-associated elements including Sp1, AP1 and a potential cAMP-responsive element (CRE) were identified. Northern blot analysis revealed the widespread tissue distribution of mouse alpha GalA transcripts. Lower expression levels, however, were observed in some tissues, implying tissue-specific differences in alpha GalA promoter function.
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