Conserved features of eukaryotic hsp70 genes revealed by comparison with the nucleotide sequence of human hsp70

C Hunt, R I Morimoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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We have determined the nucleotide sequence of the human hsp70 gene and 5' flanking region. The hsp70 gene is transcribed as an uninterrupted primary transcript of 2440 nucleotides composed of a 5' noncoding leader sequence of 212 nucleotides, a 3' noncoding region of 242 nucleotides, and a continuous open reading frame of 1986 nucleotides that encodes a protein with predicted molecular mass of 69,800 daltons. Upstream of the 5' terminus are the canonical TATAAA box, the sequence ATTGG that corresponds in the inverted orientation to the CCAAT motif, and the dyad sequence CTGGAAT/ATTCCCG that shares homology in 12 of 14 positions with the consensus transcription regulatory sequence common to Drosophila heat shock genes. Comparison of the predicted amino acid sequences of human hsp70 with the published sequences of Drosophila hsp70 and Escherichia coli dnaK reveals that human hsp70 is 73% identical to Drosophila hsp70 and 47% identical to E. coli dnaK. Surprisingly, the nucleotide sequences of the human and Drosophila genes are 72% identical and human and E. coli genes are 50% identical, which is more highly conserved than necessary given the degeneracy of the genetic code. The lack of accumulated silent nucleotide substitutions leads us to propose that there may be additional information in the nucleotide sequence of the hsp70 gene or the corresponding mRNA that precludes the maximum divergence allowed in the silent codon positions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6455-9
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 1985


  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Base Sequence
  • Biological Evolution
  • DNA, Recombinant
  • Drosophila melanogaster
  • Escherichia coli
  • Genes
  • Genes, Bacterial
  • Genes, Regulator
  • Heat-Shock Proteins
  • Humans
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid
  • Transcription, Genetic


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