We have cloned and characterized five new class I genes from the M region at the distal end of the H-2 complex of the BALB/c mouse. M4, M5, and M6 are clustered on two overlapping cosmids, and M7 and M8 are located on another cosmid together with the previously cloned M1 gene, to which they are most closely related. M4, M6, and M7 are full-length class I genes (exons 1 through 5 were identified) but with stop codons or frameshifts that mark them as pseudogenes, and only exons 4 and 5 remain of M8. M5 has complete open reading frames in exons 1 through 5 and intact splice signals; it has potential to encode a divergent class I major histocompatibility molecule, but no transcripts were found. These genes provide probes for studying the evolution of class I genes in rodents and for the mapping and cloning of genes at the end of the distal inversion in t haplotype chromosomes.
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