Laminin 5 consists of three polypeptides, α3, β3, and γ2, encoded by the genes LAMA3, LAMB3, and LAMC2, respectively. In this study, we have elucidated the exon-intron organization of the human LAMB3 gene. Characterization of five overlapping λ phage DNA clones revealed that the gene was approximately 29 kb in size. Subsequent sequence data revealed that the gene consisted of 23 exons that varied from 64 to 379 bp in size, accounting for the full-length cDNA with an open reading frame of 3516 bp encoding 1172 amino acids. Comparison of the LAMB3 gene structure with the previously characterized LAMB1 gene revealed that LAMB3 was considerably more compact. Knowledge of the exon-intron organization of the LAMB3 gene will facilitate elucidation of mutations in patients with the junctional forms of epidermolysis bullosa, some of which have been associated with mutations in the laminin 5 genes.
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