Organization of the Globin Genes

| Home | | Biochemistry |

Chapter: Biochemistry : Globular Proteins

To understand diseases resulting from genetic alterations in the structure or synthesis of hemoglobins, it is necessary to grasp how the hemoglobin genes, which direct the synthesis of the different globin chains, are structurally organized into gene families and also how they are expressed.


ORGANIZATION OF THE GLOBIN GENES

To understand diseases resulting from genetic alterations in the structure or synthesis of hemoglobins, it is necessary to grasp how the hemoglobin genes, which direct the synthesis of the different globin chains, are structurally organized into gene families and also how they are expressed.

 

A. α-Gene family

The genes coding for the α-globin and β-globin subunits of the hemoglobin chains occur in two separate gene clusters (or families) located on two different chromosomes (Figure 3.16). The α-gene cluster on chromosome 16 contains two genes for the α-globin chains. It also contains the ζ gene that is expressed early in development as an α-globin-like component of embryonic hemoblobin. [Note: Globin gene famillies also contain globin-like genes that are not expressed, that is, their genetic information is not used to produce globin chains. These are called pseudogenes.]


Figure 3.16 Organization of the globin gene families. Hb = hemoglobin.

 

B. β-Gene family

A single gene for the β-globin chain is located on chromosome 11 (see Figure 3.16). There are an additional four β-globin-like genes: the ε gene (which, like the ζ gene, is expressed early in embryonic development), two γ genes (Gγ and Aγ that are expressed in HbF), and the δ gene that codes for the globin chain found in the minor adult hemoglobin HbA2.

 

C. Steps in globin chain synthesis

Expression of a globin gene begins in the nucleus of RBC precursors, where the DNA sequence encoding the gene is transcribed. The RNA produced by transcription is actually a precursor of the messenger RNA (mRNA) that is used as a template for the synthesis of a globin chain. Before it can serve this function, two noncoding stretches of RNA (introns) must be removed from the mRNA precursor sequence and the remaining three fragments (exons) joined in a linear manner. The resulting mature mRNA enters the cytosol, where its genetic information is translated, producing a globin chain. (A summary of this process is shown in Figure 3.17. A more detailed description of gene expresion is presented in Unit VI.)


Figure 3.17 Synthesis of globin chains. mRNA = messenger RNA.

Contact Us, Privacy Policy, Terms and Compliant, DMCA Policy and Compliant

TH 2019 - 2023 pharmacy180.com; Developed by Therithal info.