Organization and expression of multiple actin genes in the sea urchin. Academic Article uri icon


  • A set of at least 11 actin genes has been isolated from genomic recombinant deoxyribonucleic acid libraries of the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus. Most of the isolates derive from a library which represents the genome of a single animal. There are at least five distinct types of sea urchin actin gene, some of which are represented by multiple copies in the genome. The actin gene types are distinguished by nonhomologous flanking sequences and intervening sequences, though the protein coding sequences appear in most cases to be quite similar. Eight of the 11 genes isolated have been recovered in lambda recombinants that contain two actin genes, linked at 5- to 9-kilobase distances. Restriction map overlaps suggest that the genome contains an array of at least three of these genes spaced over about 30 kilobases of deoxyribonucleic acid. In the linkage patterns observed, actin genes of diverse types were linked to each other. In early embryos, actin messenger ribonucleic acid (RNA) transcripts of 1.8 and 2.2 kilobases were found, and the longer of these transcripts was more prevalent in the maternal RNA of the egg. From RNA gel blot experiments, we conclude that the two transcripts derive from different actin gene types. Different repetitive sequences were located to either side of most of the actin genes, and in most observed cases the repeat sequences which were adjacent to actin genes of a given type were similar. The repeat sequences flanking the actin genes belonged to families which were transcribed, but those repeats in the neighborhood of the actin genes which have been investigated were not themselves represented in the stable RNAs of eggs or early embryos.

published proceedings

  • Mol Cell Biol

author list (cited authors)

  • Scheller, R. H., McAllister, L. B., Crain, W. R., Durica, D. S., Posakony, J. W., Thomas, T. L., Britten, R. J., & Davidson, E. H.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Scheller, RH||McAllister, LB||Crain, WR||Durica, DS||Posakony, JW||Thomas, TL||Britten, RJ||Davidson, EH

publication date

  • July 1981