Abstract

Structural and functional analysis of the mouse alpha-globin and beta-globin genes reveals that the globin genes are encoded in discontinous bits of coding information and that each gene locus is much more complex than was originally supposed. Each seems to consist of an array of several authentic genes as well as several apparently inactive pseudogenes. Comparison of the sequences of some of these genes to one another indicates that chromosomal DNA is a dynamic structure. Flanking and intervening sequences change in two ways: quickly, by duplication and extensive insertions and deletions, and slowly, by point mutation. Active coding sequences are usually limited to the slower mode of evolution. In addition to identifying fast and slow modes of evolution, it has also been possible to test the function of several signals that surround these genes and to identify those that appear to play a role in gene expression.