Phemx (Pan hematopoietic expression) is a novel murine gene expressed in developmentally regulated sites of hematopoiesis from early in embryogenesis through adulthood. Phemx is expressed in hematopoietic progenitors and mature cells of the three main hematopoietic lineages. Conceptual translation of the murine Phemx cDNA predicts a 25-kDa polypeptide with four hydrophobic regions and several potential phosphorylation sites, suggestive of a transmembrane protein involved in cell signaling. The PHEMX protein is structurally similar to tetraspanin CD81 (TAPA-1), a transmembrane protein involved in leukocyte activation, adhesion, and proliferation. Phemx maps to the distal region of chromosome 7, a segment of the mouse genome that contains a cluster of genes that exhibit genomic imprinting. However, imprinting analysis of Phemx at the whole organ level shows that it is biallelically expressed, suggesting that mechanisms leading to monoallelic expression are not imposed at this locus. The human PHEMX ortholog is specifically expressed in hematopoietic organs and tissues and, in contrast to murine Phemx, undergoes alternative splicing. The unique mode and range of Phemx expression suggest that it plays a role in hematopoietic cell function. (C) 2000 Academic Press.
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