POU domain genes encode a family of highly conserved transacting factors that influence the transcriptional activity of several cell type-specific and ubiquitous genes. We have cloned and sequenced cDNAs encoding a novel mouse POU domain protein, Oct-11, that is closely related within the POU domain to the POU class II proteins, Oct-1 and Oct-2. Recombinant Oc t-11 protein binds specifically to an octamer sequence in vitro. The Oct-11 gene is expressed during mouse embryogenesis and in the adult thymus and testis. In addition, it is abundant in the myeloma cell line P3/NS-1/1-Ag4.1. We describe the structure of Oct-11 and its chromosomal localization, and discuss the evidence that the POU class II gene family has evolved by duplication and divergence of a common ancestral gene.
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