Two novel mouse genes and one novel human gene that define distinctive eukaryotic nucleotide-binding proteins (NUBP) and are related to the mrp gene of prokaryotes are characterized. Phylogenetic analyses of the genes, encoding a short form (Nubp2) and a long form (Nubp1) of NUBP, clearly establish them as a new NUBP/MRP gene family that is well conserved throughout phylogeny. In addition to conserved ATP/GTP-binding motifs A (P- loop) and A', members of this family share at least two highly conserved sequence motifs, NUBP/MRP motifs α and β. Only one type of NUBP/MRP gene has been observed thus far in prokaryotes, but there are two types in eukaryotes. One group includes mouse Nubp1, human NBP, yeast NBP35, and Caenorhabditis elegans F10G8.6 and is characterized by a unique N-terminal sequence with four cysteine residues that is lacking in the other group, which includes mouse Nubp2, human NUBP2, and yeast YIA3w. Northern blot analyses of the two mouse genes show distinctive patterns consistent with this classification. Mouse Nubp2 is mapped to the t-complex region of mouse Chromosome 17, whereas Nubp1 is mapped to the proximal region of mouse Chromosome 16. Interestingly, both regions are syntenic with human chromosome 16p13.1-p13.3, suggesting that a chromosomal breakage between Nubp2 and Nubp1 probably occurred during the evolution of mouse chromosomes.
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