Thymopoietins (Tmpos) are a group of ubiquitously expressed nuclear proteins, with sequence homology to lamina-associated polypeptide 2 (LAP2). Here we report the isolation and characterization of seven mouse Tmpo mRNA transcripts named Tmpo α, β, β', γ, ε, δ, and ζ. The α, β, and γ Tmpo cDNA clones are the mouse homologs of the previously characterized human α, β, and γ, TMPOs, respectively, whereas Tmpo ε, δ, and ζ are novel cDNAs. Additionally, the mouse Tmpo gene was cloned and characterized. It is a single-copy gene organized in 10 exons spanning ~ 22 kb, which encodes all of the described Tmpo cDNA sequences, located in the central region of mouse chromosome 10. The almost identical genomic organization between the human and mouse genes, and the novel alternatively spliced mouse transcripts, led us to reanalyze the human TMPO gene. The human β-specific domain was found to be encoded by 3 exons designated 6a, 6b, and 6c and not by a single exon as described previously. These findings suggest that there may be more human transcripts than currently recognized. The possible involvement of the new growing family of Tmpo proteins in nuclear architecture and cell cycle control is discussed.
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