1. Various hybridization approaches were employed to investigate structural and chromosomal interrelationships between the human cholinesterase genes CHE and ACHE encoding the polymorphic, closely related, and coordinately regulated enzymes having butyrylcholinesterase (BuChE) and acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activities. 2. Homologous cosmid recombination with a 190-base pair 5′ fragment from BuChEcDNA resulted in the isolation of four overlapping cosmid clones, apparently derived from a single gene with several introns. The Cosmid CHEDNA included a 700-base pair fragment known to be expressed at the 3′ end of BuChEcDNA from nervous system tumors and which has been mapped by in situ hybridization to the unique 3q26-ter position. In contrast, cosmid CHEDNA did not hybridize with full-length AChEcDNA, proving that the complete CHE gene does not include AChE-encoding sequences either in exons or in its introns. 3. The chromosomal origin of BuChE-encoding sequences was further examined by two unrelated gene mapping approaches. Filter hybridization with DNA from human/hamster hybrid cell lines revealed BuChEcDNA-hybridizing sequences only in cell lines including human chromosome 3. However, three BuChEcDNA-homologous sequences were observed at chromosomal positions 3q21, 3q26-ter, and 16q21 by a highly stringent in situ hybridization protocol, including washes at high temperature and low salt. 4. These findings stress the selectivity of cosmid recombination and chromosome blots, raise the possibility of individual differences in BuChEcDNA-hybridizing sequences, and present an example for a family highly similar proteins encoded by distinct, nonhomologous genes.
Human acetylcholinesterase and butyrylcholinesterase are encoded by two distinct genes
Link to publication: