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Molecular cloning and expression of human tumor-associated polymorphic epithelial mucin.

Gendler S.J., Lancaster C.A., Taylor-Papadimitriou J., Duhig T., Peat N., Burchell J., Pemberton L., Lalani E.-N., Wilson D.

Human mammary cells present on the cell surface a polymorphic epithelial mucin (PEM) which is developmentally regulated and aberrantly expressed in tumors. PEM carries tumor-associated epitopes recognized by the monoclonal antibodies HMFG-1, HMFG-2, and SM-3. Previously isolated partial cDNA clones revealed that the core protein contained a large domain consisting of variable numbers of 20-amino acid repeat units. We now report the full sequence for PEM, as deduced from cDNA sequences. The encoded protein consists of three distinct regions: the amino terminus consisting of a putative signal peptide and degenerate repeats; the major portion of the protein which is the tandem repeat region; the carboxyl terminus consisting of degenerate tandem repeats and a unique sequence containing a transmembrane sequence and a cytoplasmic tail. Potential O-glycosylation sites (serines or threonines) make up more than one-fourth of the amino acids. Length variations in the tandem repeat result in PEM being an expressed variable number tandem repeat locus. Tandem repeats appear to be a general characteristic of mucin core proteins.

J. Biol. Chem. 265:15286-15293(1990) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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