We cloned a cDNA and the gene for Japanese flounder TNF. The TNF cDNA consisted of 1217 bp, which encoded 225 amino acid residues. The identities between Japanese flounder TNF and members of the mammalian TNF family were ~20-30%. The positions of cysteine residues that are important for disulfide bonds were conserved with respect to those in mammalian TNF-α. The Japanese flounder TNF gene has a length of ~2 kbp and consists of four exons and three introns. The positions of the exon-intron junction positions of Japanese flounder TNF gene are similar to those of human TNF-α. However, the length of the first intron of Japanese flounder is much shorter than that of the human TNF-α gene. There are simple CA or AT dinucleotide repeats in the 5'-upstream and 3'-downstream regions of the Japanese flounder TNF gene. Southern blot hybridization indicted that Japanese flounder TNF exists as a single copy. Expression of Japanese flounder TNF mRNA is greatly induced after stimulation of PBLs with LPS, Con A, or PMA. These results indicated that Japanese flounder TNF is more like mammalian TNF-α than mammalian lymphotoxin-α, with respect to its gene structure, length of amino acid sequence, number and position of cysteine residues, and regulation of gene expression.
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