The complete nucleotide (nt) sequences of the cDNA and gene encoding the marine mollusk Aplysia kurodai (Ak) ADP-ribosyl cyclase (ADRC) which synthesizes cyclic ADP-ribose (cADP-ribose), a second messenger for Ca2 mobilization from endoplasmic reticulum, were determined. Ak ADRC consists of 258 amino acids (aa) (29 kDa). It shares 86% aa sequence homology with that from A. californica, and 31-32% homology with the human, rat and mouse cluster of differentiation 38 (CD38) that has both ADRC and cADP-ribose hydrolase activities. The Ak ADRC-encoding gene (ADRC) spans approx. 7 kb and contains eight exons and seven introns. The transcription start point (tsp) determined by primer extension analysis and S1 mapping is 28 by downstream from the TATA box. This gene is expressed specifically in the ovotestis, although the mammalian CD38-encoding gene is expressed in many kinds of tissues and cells. The 5′-flanking region contains several consensus sequences responsible for the germ-cell-specific expression of the mouse zona pellucida 3 (ZP3) and Drosophila melanogaster chorion genes. The existence of the consensus sequences located at nt -1649, -1161, -234 and -90 may account for the ovotestis-specific expression of the Ak ADRC gene.
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