Exon-intron organization in genes of earthworm and vertebrate globins

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Science  15 Apr 1988:
Vol. 240, Issue 4850, pp. 334-336
DOI: 10.1126/science.2832953


The structure of an invertebrate, intron-containing globin gene has been determined as part of a study of the evolution of hemoglobin. The gene encoding chain c of Lumbricus terrestris hemoglobin has the two-intron, three-exon structure characteristic of vertebrate globin genes, and the exact positions of the splice junctions are conserved. The two introns interrupting the coding sequence are longer than those of known hemoglobins but shorter than myoglobin introns. The gene encodes a secretory preglobin containing a 16-residue signal peptide, as expected for an extracellular hemoglobin. However, no intron separates the DNA encoding the signal sequence from that of the globin sequence. The 3' untranslated region of the Lumbricus gene is much longer than those of the genes for other hemoglobins and is similar to those found for myoglobins.