Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are differences in the nucleotide sequence of a specific gene from different individuals. The frequency at which SNPs occur varies among individuals, is gene dependent, and may be influenced by the aging process or by mechanisms that result in cell transformation. Urokinase-plasminogen activator (uPA) is a serine protease that is important in embryonic development, aging, and the onset of pathogenic conditions. The frequency of SNP and the stability of the SNPs in the uPA gene have not been defined with regard to processes that are associated with cellular aging or transformation. In this study, the complete nucleotide sequence has been determined for the gene encoding uPA from 26 human diploid kidney cell lines. The frequency of SNP occurrence within the uPA gene and whether this frequency changed during cellular aging, or after cell transformation, were determined. The results demonstrated three donor-dependent SNPs. One SNP was located at base pair 422, which is in the region of the gene responsible for encoding the high–molecular weight domain of uPA (HMW-uPA). The other SNPs were located at base pairs 691 and 822, both of which are in the region of the gene responsible for encoding the low–molecular weight domain of uPA (LMW-uPA). Single-nucleotide polymorphisms were not detected in the portion of the gene responsible for encoding the uPA secretion signal. Leucine or proline would be encoded at amino acid 141 of HMW-uPA as the result of an SNP at base pair 422. The SNP detected at base pair 691 would encode for lysine or glutamine at amino acid 231 of LMW-uPA. The SNP detected at base pair 822 would not change the encoded asparagine located at position 274 of the protein. The SNPs identified in this study were donor dependent and were not altered during cellular aging, or by changes in karyology due to spontaneous transformation of the cell line. These results demonstrate that the integrity of the uPA gene is stable and not subject to alterations that accompany cell aging or transformation.
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Vol. 39 • No. 8