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Unique and repetitive sequences in multiple genes for feather keratin

Abstract

Embryonic chick feather keratins are a family of homologous polypeptide chains. The mRNA coding for these has been obtained in a pure state and transcribed into complementary DNA (c DNA) using the reverse transcriptase from avian myeloblastosis virus. Studies on the kinetics of hybridisation and reannealing of c DNA indicate that there are 25–35 different keratin mRNA species in the embryonic chick feather, and a total of 100–240 keratin genes in the chick genome. Each keratin gene contains both a unique and a repetitive sequence. It is proposed that the repetitive sequences are the keratin coding sequences and that the unique sequences correspond to untranslated regions.

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