Ubiquitin belongs to a multigene family. In Drosophila two members of this family have been previously described. We report here the organization and expression of a third member, the DUb52 gene, isolated by screening a Drosophila melanogaster genomic library. This gene encodes an ubiquitin monomer fused to a 52-amino acid extension protein. There are no introns interrupting the coding sequence. Recently, it has been described that this extension encodes a ribosomal protein in Saccharomyces, Dictyostelium, and Arabidopsis. The present results show that the 5′ regulatory region of DUb52 shares common features with the ribosomal protein genes of Drosophila, Xenopus and mouse, including GC- and pyrimidine-rich regions. Moreover, sequences similar to the consensus Ribo-box in Neurospora crassa have been identified. Furthermore, a sequence has been found that is similar to the binding site for the TFIIIA distal element factor from Xenopus laevis. The DUb52 gene is transcribed to a 0.9 kb mRNA that is expressed constitutively throughout development and is particularly abundant in ovaries. In addition, the DUb52 gene has been found to be preferentially transcribed in exponentially growing Drosophila cells.

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