A 3250-bp novel human cDNA sequence was isolated from the MRC-5 human embryonic lung cell line by the rapid amplification of cDNA ends technique. This gene was designated HUEL and given the symbol C4orf1 by the HUGO Nomenclature Committee. Within HUEL was identified a continuous ORF of 1704 bp encoding a predicted hydrophilic protein of 568 amino acids with a calculated molecular mass of 63,410 Da. The putative protein contains the LXXLL signature motif considered necessary and sufficient for binding of certain coactivators to liganded nuclear receptors, as well as nuclear localization signals, a nuclear export-like signal, a zinc finger-like motif, an acidic region, and two leucine zipper-like domains. Northern blot analysis of human fetal tissues revealed 3. 4-kb transcripts, while RT-PCR demonstrated HUEL expression in a wide range of human adult tissues and cancer cell lines. In the SiHa, HT-1080, and G-401 cancer lines was detected an alternative transcript in which a 166-bp segment was excluded by exon skipping, which is predicted to culminate in a protein with a modified and truncated C-terminus. HUEL was localized to chromosome region 4p12-p13 by fluorescence in situ hybridization. In Western blots, affinity-purified antibodies raised against a HUEL-specific synthetic peptide could recognize a distinct protein band of approximately 70 kDa. Immunoblotting of subcellular fractions and indirect immunofluorescence of human embryonic lung cells demonstrated the distribution of HUEL predominantly in the cytoplasm, with an apparently cytoskeletal association. However, in smaller or dividing PLC/PRF/5 and TONG liver carcinoma cells, there was a translocation of HUEL from the cytoplasm to the nucleus. Taken together, these data suggest that HUEL plays a role in transcriptional regulation.
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