Nurr1 is a member of the nuclear receptor superfamily of transcription factors that is expressed predominantly in the central nervous system, including developing dopaminergic neurons. Recently, it was demonstrated that Nurr1 is critical for midbrain dopaminergic cell differentiation. In order to investigate a possible relation of Nurr1 with the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease or other neuropsychiatric disorders, we have cloned and characterized the human Nurr1 gene. The gene exists as a single copy in the human genome and comprises eight exons spanning 8 kb. We determined the complete nucleotide sequence and flanking regions of the gene. Potential regulatory regions included consensus binding sites for NF-κB, CREB, and Spl. Isolation of human Nurr1 cDNAs from fetal brain suggested the presence of a new splicing variant of Nurr1 in the human brain.
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