A recombinant plasmid containing a DNA segment complementary to rat liver albumin mRNA has been constructed cloned, and used to examine the organization of albumin gene. The 18S fraction of total liver poly(A)-containing RNA was copied into a double-stranded cDNA by avian myeloblastosis virus reverse transcriptase and Escherichia coli DNA polymerase I. The cDNA was inserted into the HindIII site of the plasmid pBR322 via the addition of specific oligonucleotide linkers. Recombinant plasmids were screened by hybrid arrest of mRNA translation and hydridization with specific cDNAs. Thereby, a plasmid was identified that contained a 1200-nucleotide insert corresponding to a segment adjacent to the 5'-terminal region of albumin mRNA. The inserted sequence was used as a hybridization probe to detect five EcoRI fragments of genomic DNA which encode albumin mRNA. These were compared to eight EcoRI fragments identified within the rat genome by albumin cDNA. The authors conclude that the albumin gene (or genes) is interrupted at more than one site in the coding DNA by intervening sequences. Furthermore, they were able to distinguis those fragments that encode the 5' and 3' ends of the mRNA.
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