By using primers complementary to the rat βB1 crystallin gene sequence, we amplified exons 5 and 6 of the orthologous human gene (CRYBB1). The amplified human segments displayed greater than 88% sequence homology to the corresponding rat and bovine sequences. CRYBB1 was assigned to the group 5 region in 22q11.2-q12.1 by hybridizing the exon 6 PCR product to somatic cell hybrids containing defined portions of human chromosome 22. The exon 5 and exon 6 PCR products of CRYBB1 were used to localize, by interspecific backcross mapping, the mouse gene (Crybb1) to the central portion of chromosome 5. Three other β crystallin genes (βB2(1), βB3, and βA4) have previously been mapped to the same regions in human and mouse. We demonstrate that the/βB1 and βA4 crystallin genes are very closely linked in the two species. These assignments complete the mapping and identification of the human and mouse homologues of the major β crystallins genes that are expressed in the bovine lens.
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