Free Access
Genet. Sel. Evol.
Volume 34, Number 1, January-February 2002
Page(s) 117 - 128

Genet. Sel. Evol. 34 (2002) 117-128
DOI: 10.1051/gse:2001007

Comparative analysis on the structural features of the 5' flanking region of $\kappa$-casein genes from six different species

Ákos Gerencséra, Endre Bartaa, Simon Boab, Petros Kastanisb, Zsuzsanna Böszea and C. Bruce A. Whitelawb

a  Department of Animal Biology, Agricultural Biotechnology Center, 2100 Gödöllö, Szent-Györgyi A. st.4, Hungary
b  Department of Gene Expression and Development, Roslin Institute (Edinburgh), Roslin, Midlothian, EH25-9PS, Scotland, UK

(Received 20 February 2001; accepted 1st August 2001)

$\kappa$-casein plays an essential role in the formation, stabilisation and aggregation of milk micelles. Control of $\kappa$-casein expression reflects this essential role, although an understanding of the mechanisms involved lags behind that of the other milk protein genes. We determined the 5'-flanking sequences for the murine, rabbit and human $\kappa$-casein genes and compared them to the published ruminant sequences. The most conserved region was not the proximal promoter region but an approximately 400 bp long region centred 800 bp upstream of the TATA box. This region contained two highly conserved MGF/STAT5 sites with common spacing relative to each other. In this region, six conserved short stretches of similarity were also found which did not correspond to known transcription factor consensus sites. On the contrary to ruminant and human 5' regulatory sequences, the rabbit and murine 5'-flanking regions did not harbour any kind of repetitive elements. We generated a phylogenetic tree of the six species based on multiple alignment of the $\kappa$-casein sequences. This study identified conserved candidate transcriptional regulatory elements within the $\kappa$-casein gene promoter.

Key words: $\kappa$-casein / 5' regulatory region / transcription factor binding sites / repetitive elements

Correspondence and reprints: Zsuzsanna Bösze

© INRA, EDP Sciences 2002