Genetic and physical mapping studies indicate that hundreds of zinc- finger (ZNF)-containing genes populate the human genome and that many of these genes are arranged in familial clusters. However, the extent to which these tandemly arrayed families are conserved among mammalian species is largely unknown. In a previous study, we identified a conserved cluster of Kruppel-associated box (KRAB)-containing ZNF genes located near the XRCC1 gene in human chromosome 19q13.2 and mouse chromosome 7 and analyzed two members of the murine gene family, Zfp93 and Zfp94, in detail. Here we report the identification and characterization of putative human orthologs of these murine genes. The human genes ZFP93 and ZNF45 are substantially similar to their murine counterparts in overall structure, but two notable differences exist between the sets of genes. First, the human genes encode more ZNF repeats than their murine counterparts. Second, the ZNF repeats that are common to orthologs exhibit varying degrees of conservation. Expression studies indicate that the human genes, like their mouse equivalents, are expressed widely and are coexpressed at similar levels in most adult tissues. These comparative gene sequence and expression studies therefore suggest that at least two members of the mammalian XRCC1-linked KRAB-ZNF gene family were elaborated prior to the divergence of primate and rodent lineages and were well conserved in human and mouse.
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