The rhombotin (RBTN1 or Ttg-1) gene was first identified at a chromosome translocation in a T-cell acute leukaemia and later used to isolate two related genes (RBTN2 or Ttg-2 and RBTN3). Complete characterization of these genes in man and mouse shows that all three encode cysteine-rich proteins with typical LIM domains. RBTN1 and RBTN3-derived proteins have 98% identity in the LIM domains but are located on separate chromosomes in man and in mouse while RBTN1 and RBTN2, both located on human chromosome 11p but are on separate chromosomes in mouse, are only 48% identical in this part of the protein. The exon organization of RBTN1 and RBTN3 genes are similar, both having an intron, absent from the RBTN2 gene, in the LIM2-encoding region. The remarkable similarity between rbtn-1 and rbtn-3 proteins is parallelled in their expression patterns in mouse development, since both genes show high expression in restricted areas of the brain, but little lymphoid expression, rbtn-2 expression, however, is more ubiquitous. This gene shows a low level of thymus expression but high expression in fetal liver, adult spleen and B-cell lines, consistent with a role in B-cell development. These results suggest multiple cellular targets for the action of these proteins during development.
- Rhombotin genes
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