Aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase (AADC) catalyzes the decarboxylation of both L-3, 4-dihydroxyphenylalanine and L-5-hydroxytryptophan to dopamine and serotonin, respectively, which are major mammalian neurotransmitters and hormones belonging to catecholamines and indoleamines. This report describes the organization of the human AADC gene. We proved that the gene of human AADC consists of 15 exons spanning more than 85 kilobases and exists as a single copy in the haploid genome. The boundaries between exon and intron followed the AG/GT rule. The sizes of exons and introns ranged from 20 to 400 bp and from 1.0 to 17.7 kb, respectively, while the sizes of four introns were not determined. Untranslated regions located in the 5' region of mRNA were encoded by two exons, exons 1 and 2. The transcriptional starting point was determined around G at position -111 by primer extension and SI mapping. There were no typical “TATA box” and “CAAT box” within 540 bp from the transcriptional starting point. The human AADC gene was mapped to chromosome band 7pl2.1-pl2.3 by fluorescence in situ hybridization. This is the first report on the genomic structure and chromosomal localization of the AADC gene in mammals.
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