Acyl-CoA-binding protein (ACBP) is a 10 kDa protein isolated from bovine liver by virtue of its ability to bind and induce the synthesis of medium-chain acyl-CoA esters. Surprisingly, it turned out to be identical to a protein named diazepam-binding Inhibitor (DBI) claimed to be an endogenous modulator of the GABAA receptor in brain membranes. ACBP/DBI, or proteolytically derived polypeptides of ACBP/DBI, have also been implicated in the control of steroidogenesis in mitochondria and glucose-stimulated insulin secretion. Thus, it appears that ACBP/DBI is a remarkable, versatile protein. Now we have molecularly cloned and characterized the ACBP/DBI gene family in rat. The rat ACBP/DBI gene family comprises one expressed gene and four processed pseudogenes of which one was shown to exist in two allelic forms. The expressed gene is organized into four exons and three introns. There is a remarkable correspondence between the structural modules of ACBP/DBI as determined by 1H nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and the exon-intron architecture of the ACBP/DBI gene. Detailed analyses of transcription of the ACBP/DBI gene in brain and liver were performed to map transcription initiation sites and to examine if transcripts from the ACBP/DBI gene were subject to alternative processing. In both brain and liver, transcription is initiated from two major and multiple minor initiation sites. No evidence for alternative splicing was obtained. The promoter region of the ACBP/DBI gene is located in a CpG island and lacks a canonical TATA box. Thus, the ACDB/DBI gene exhibits all the hallmarks of a typical housekeeping gene.
Keywords: Animals; Base Sequence; Carrier Proteins; Cloning, Molecular; Diazepam Binding Inhibitor; Exons; Introns; Models, Genetic; Molecular Sequence Data; Multigene Family; Phylogeny; Pseudogenes; RNA Precursors; RNA Splicing; RNA, Antisense; Rats; Restriction Mapping; Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid; Transcription, Genetic