Mono(ADP-ribosyl)transferases regulate the function of target proteins by attaching ADP-ribose to specific amino acid residues in the proteins. We have characterized the gene for mouse arginine-specific ADP-ribosyltransferase, Art1. Southern blot analyses indicate that Art1 is a single-copy gene. Northern blot and reverse transcription–PCR analyses demonstrate prominent expression of Art1 in cardiac and skeletal muscle, and lower levels in spleen, lung, liver and fetal tissues. While human ART1 is not represented in the public expressed sequence tag (EST) database, the database contains 14 mouse Art1 ESTs. The Art1 gene encompasses four exons spanning 20 kb of genomic DNA. The deduced amino acid sequence of Art1 exhibits the characteristic features of a glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored membrane protein. It shows 75–77% sequence identity with its orthologues from the human and rabbit, and 33–34% identity with its paralogues from the mouse, Art2-1 and Art2-2. Separate exons encode the N- and C-terminal signal peptides, and a single long exon encodes the entire predicted native polypeptide chain. We expressed Art1 in 293T cells as a recombinant fusion protein with the Fc portion of human IgG1. This soluble protein exhibits enzyme activities characteristic of arginine-specific ADP-ribosyltransferases. The availability of the Art1 gene provides the basis for applying transgene and knockout technologies to further probe the function of this gene product.

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Author notes

The nucleotide sequence data reported have been submitted to the EMBL/GenBank/DDBJ Nucleotide Sequence Databases under accession number X95825.