Primary function analysis of human mental retardation related gene CRBN

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The mutation of human cereblon gene (CRBN) is revealed to be related with mild mental retardation. Since the molecular characteristics of CRBN have not been well presented, we investigated the general properties of CRBN. We analyzed its gene structure and protein homologues. The CRBN protein might belong to a family of adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-dependent Lon protease. We also found that CRBN was widely expressed in different tissues, and the expression level in testis is significantly higher than other tissues. This may suggested it could play some important roles in several other tissues besides brain. Transient transfection experiment in AD 293 cell lines suggested that both CRBN and CRBN mutant (nucleotide position 1,274(C > T)) are located in the whole cells. This may suggest new functions of CRBN in cell nucleolus besides its mitochondria protease activity in cytoplasm.

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