DNA amplification plays important roles in the development of drug resistance and tumor progression. One mechanism of DNA amplification involves the breakage-fusion-bridge (BFB) cycle. We previously reported that in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell line, breakage at fragile site 1q31 was associated with mdr1 gene amplification through the BFB mechanism. To elucidate the molecular basis of BFB-mediated DNA amplification, we cloned 1q31 fragile site DNA from a Chinese hamster cell line containing an integrated neomycin-resistance marker. Sequence analyses revealed many characteristics similar to those in other common fragile sites. Moreover, this fragile site contains an evolutionarily conserved novel gene, designated fragile site-associated (FSA) gene. FSA encodes a ∼16-kb mRNA, from which an unusually large open reading frame (orf) of 5005 amino acids can be deduced. The C-terminal portion of FSA shares a striking sequence similarity to that of Caenorhabditi elegans lipid depleted-3 (lpd-3) gene whose function has been demonstrated to involve in lipid storage. We also demonstrated that expression of FSA is associated with the developmental programs of spermatogenesis and adipogenesis. Our results suggest that the Chinese hamster 1q31 fragile site has many important functions including regulation of mdr1 amplification and differentiation of adipocytes and spermatocytes.
- Cell growth and differentiation
- Novel gene
- Positional cloning
- Postmitotic regulation
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