Genes encoding T-cell-receptor α/δ chains, neutrophil cathepsin G, and lymphocyte CGL/granzymes are closely linked on chromosomal band 14q11.2. The current work identifies the human mast cell chymase gene (CMA1) as the fourth protease in this cluster and maps the gene to within 150 kb of the cathepsin G gene. The gene order is centromere-T cell receptor α/δ-CGL-1/granzyme B-CGL-2/granzyme H-cathepsin G-chymase. Chymase and cathepsin G genes are shown to be cotranscribed in the human mast cell line HMC-1 and in U-937 cells. Other cells transcribe cathepsin G or CGL/granzyme genes, but not chymase genes, suggesting a capacity for independent regulation. Comparison of the 5′ flank of the chymase gene with those of cathepsin G and CGL/granzymes reveals little overall homology. Only short regions of the 5′ flanks of the human and murine chymase genes sequenced to date are similar, suggesting that they are more distantly related than human and rodent CGL-1/granzyme B, the flanks of which are highly homologous. The expression patterns and clustering of genes provide possible clues to the presence of locus control regions that orchestrate lineage-restricted expression of leukocyte and mast cell proteases.
ASJC Scopus subject areas