Structure of the human neutrophil elastase gene.
Amino Acid Sequence
Chromosomes, Human, Pair 11
DNA Restriction Enzymes
Molecular Sequence Data
Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid
The gene for human neutrophil elastase (NE), a powerful serine protease carried by blood neutrophils and capable of destroying most connective tissue proteins, was cloned from a genomic DNA library of a normal individual. The NE gene consists of 5 exons and 4 introns included in a single copy 4-kilobase segment of chromosome 11 at q14. The coding exons of the NE gene predict a primary translation product of 267 residues including a 29-residue N-terminal precursor peptide and a 20-residue C-terminal precursor peptide. Analysis of the N-terminal peptide sequence suggests it contains a 27-residue "pre" signal peptide followed by a "proN" dipeptide, similar to that of other blood cell lysosomal proteases. The sequences for the mature 218-residue NE protein are included in exons II-V. The 5'-flanking region of the gene includes typical TATA, CAAT, and GC sequences within 61 base pairs (bp) of the cap site. The sequence 1.5 kilobases 5' to exon I contains several interesting repetitive sequences including six tandem repeats of unique 52- or 53-bp sequences. The 5'-flanking region also contains a 19-bp segment with 90% homology to a segment of the 5'-flanking region of the human myeloperoxidase (MPO) gene, a gene also expressed in bone marrow precursor cells and a protein stored in the same neutrophil granules as NE. In addition, like the MPO gene, the NE 5'-flanking region has several regions with greater than or equal to 75% homology to sequences 5' to c-myc, but there is no overlap between the NE-c-myc and MPO-c-myc homologous sequences.