• nicolin;
  • comparative genomics;
  • human;
  • mouse;
  • dog

We have identified a novel mammalian gene, termed nicolin 1 gene (NICN1), that is present in human, dog and mouse, whereas it is absent from the available genome sequences of nonmammalian organisms. The NICN1 gene consists of six exons and spans about 6 kb of genomic DNA. It encodes a 213 amino acid protein that does not belong to any known protein family. Experiments using green fluorescent protein (GFP)-tagged nicolin 1 fusion proteins indicate that nicolin 1 is a nuclear protein. Northern analysis and semiquantitative RT-PCR demonstrated that the 2.5 kb NICN1 mRNA is expressed in a tissue-specific manner. The highest NICN1 expression levels are found in brain, testis, liver, and kidney. On the other hand the NICN1 expression is weak in spleen, leukocytes, small intestine and colon. The NICN1 gene is also expressed during development.