Mutations in the fatty aldehyde dehydrogenase (FALDH) gene cause Sjogren-Larsson syndrome (SLS)-a disease characterized by mental retardation, spasticity, and congenital ichthyosis. To facilitate mutation analysis in SLS and to study the pathogenesis of FALDH deficiency, we have determined the structural organization and characterized expression of the FALDH (proposed designation ALDH10) gene. The gene consists of 10 exons spanning about 30.5 kb. A TATA-less promoter is associated with the major transcription initiation site found to be 258 bp upstream of the ATG codon. The GC-rich sequences surrounding the transcription initiation site encompassed regulatory elements that interacted with proteins in HeLa nuclear extracts and were able to promote transcription in vitro. FALDH is widely expressed as three transcripts of 2, 3.8, and 4.0 kb, which originate from multiple polyadenylation signals in the 3' UTR. An alternatively spliced mRNA was detected that contains an extra exon and encodes an enzyme that is likely to have altered membrane-binding properties. The FALDH gene lies only 50-85 kb from ALDH3, an aldehyde dehydrogenase gene that has homologous sequence and intron/exon structure.
ASJC Scopus subject areas