• We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Logo of pnasPNASInfo for AuthorsSubscriptionsAboutThis Article
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Nov 15, 1991; 88(22): 10247–10251.

Identification of the major pregnancy-specific antigens of cattle and sheep as inactive members of the aspartic proteinase family.


Pregnancy in cattle and sheep can be diagnosed by the presence of a conceptus-derived antigen in maternal serum that is secreted by trophoblast and placental tissue primarily as an acidic component of Mr 67,000. Molecular cloning of its cDNA reveals that the antigen belongs to the aspartic proteinase family and has greater than 50% amino acid sequence identity to pepsin, cathepsin D, and cathepsin E. The inferred sequences of the ovine and bovine polypeptides show approximately 73% identity to each other. Critical amino acid substitutions at the active site regions suggest that both proteins are enzymatically inactive. The antigen is a product of trophoblast binucleate cells that invade maternal endometrium at implantation sites.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (1.1M), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Images in this article

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Boshier DP. A histological and histochemical examination of implantation and early placentome formation in sheep. J Reprod Fertil. 1969 Jun;19(1):51–61. [PubMed]
  • Wooding FB, Wathes DC. Binucleate cell migration in the bovine placentome. J Reprod Fertil. 1980 Jul;59(2):425–430. [PubMed]
  • Wooding FB. Localization of ovine placental lactogen in sheep placentomes by electron microscope immunocytochemistry. J Reprod Fertil. 1981 May;62(1):15–19. [PubMed]
  • Wango EO, Wooding FB, Heap RB. The role of trophoblast binucleate cells in implantation in the goat: a quantitative study. Placenta. 1990 Sep-Oct;11(5):381–394. [PubMed]
  • Butler JE, Hamilton WC, Sasser RG, Ruder CA, Hass GM, Williams RJ. Detection and partial characterization of two bovine pregnancy-specific proteins. Biol Reprod. 1982 Jun;26(5):925–933. [PubMed]
  • Sasser RG, Ruder CA, Ivani KA, Butler JE, Hamilton WC. Detection of pregnancy by radioimmunoassay of a novel pregnancy-specific protein in serum of cows and a profile of serum concentrations during gestation. Biol Reprod. 1986 Nov;35(4):936–942. [PubMed]
  • Ruder CA, Stellflug JN, Dahmen JJ, Sasser RG. Detection of pregnancy in sheep by radioimmunoassay of sera for pregnancy-specific protein B. Theriogenology. 1988 Apr;29(4):905–912. [PubMed]
  • Sasser RG, Crock J, Ruder-Montgomery CA. Characteristics of pregnancy-specific protein B in cattle. J Reprod Fertil Suppl. 1989;37:109–113. [PubMed]
  • Zoli AP, Beckers JF, Wouters-Ballman P, Closset J, Falmagne P, Ectors F. Purification and characterization of a bovine pregnancy-associated glycoprotein. Biol Reprod. 1991 Jul;45(1):1–10. [PubMed]
  • Godkin JD, Bazer FW, Moffatt J, Sessions F, Roberts RM. Purification and properties of a major, low molecular weight protein released by the trophoblast of sheep blastocysts at day 13-21. J Reprod Fertil. 1982 May;65(1):141–150. [PubMed]
  • Warren WC, Liang R, Krivi GG, Siegel NR, Anthony RV. Purification and structural characterization of ovine placental lactogen. J Endocrinol. 1990 Jul;126(1):141–149. [PubMed]
  • Low BG, Hansen PJ, Drost M, Gogolin-Ewens KJ. Expression of major histocompatibility complex antigens on the bovine placenta. J Reprod Fertil. 1990 Sep;90(1):235–243. [PubMed]
  • Imakawa K, Anthony RV, Kazemi M, Marotti KR, Polites HG, Roberts RM. Interferon-like sequence of ovine trophoblast protein secreted by embryonic trophectoderm. Nature. 330(6146):377–379. [PubMed]
  • Imakawa K, Hansen TR, Malathy PV, Anthony RV, Polites HG, Marotti KR, Roberts RM. Molecular cloning and characterization of complementary deoxyribonucleic acids corresponding to bovine trophoblast protein-1: a comparison with ovine trophoblast protein-1 and bovine interferon-alpha II. Mol Endocrinol. 1989 Jan;3(1):127–139. [PubMed]
  • Short JM, Fernandez JM, Sorge JA, Huse WD. Lambda ZAP: a bacteriophage lambda expression vector with in vivo excision properties. Nucleic Acids Res. 1988 Aug 11;16(15):7583–7600. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Andreeva NS, Zdanov AS, Gustchina AE, Fedorov AA. Structure of ethanol-inhibited porcine pepsin at 2-A resolution and binding of the methyl ester of phenylalanyl-diiodotyrosine to the enzyme. J Biol Chem. 1984 Sep 25;259(18):11353–11365. [PubMed]
  • Bernstein FC, Koetzle TF, Williams GJ, Meyer EF, Jr, Brice MD, Rodgers JR, Kennard O, Shimanouchi T, Tasumi M. The Protein Data Bank: a computer-based archival file for macromolecular structures. J Mol Biol. 1977 May 25;112(3):535–542. [PubMed]
  • Lin XL, Wong RN, Tang J. Synthesis, purification, and active site mutagenesis of recombinant porcine pepsinogen. J Biol Chem. 1989 Mar 15;264(8):4482–4489. [PubMed]
  • von Heijne G. A new method for predicting signal sequence cleavage sites. Nucleic Acids Res. 1986 Jun 11;14(11):4683–4690. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Sogawa K, Fujii-Kuriyama Y, Mizukami Y, Ichihara Y, Takahashi K. Primary structure of human pepsinogen gene. J Biol Chem. 1983 Apr 25;258(8):5306–5311. [PubMed]
  • Kageyama T, Takahashi K. The complete amino acid sequence of monkey pepsinogen A. J Biol Chem. 1986 Apr 5;261(10):4395–4405. [PubMed]
  • Azuma T, Pals G, Mohandas TK, Couvreur JM, Taggart RT. Human gastric cathepsin E. Predicted sequence, localization to chromosome 1, and sequence homology with other aspartic proteinases. J Biol Chem. 1989 Oct 5;264(28):16748–16753. [PubMed]
  • Hidaka M, Sasaki K, Uozumi T, Beppu T. Cloning and structural analysis of the calf prochymosin gene. Gene. 1986;43(3):197–203. [PubMed]
  • Faust PL, Kornfeld S, Chirgwin JM. Cloning and sequence analysis of cDNA for human cathepsin D. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1985 Aug;82(15):4910–4914. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Miyazaki H, Fukamizu A, Hirose S, Hayashi T, Hori H, Ohkubo H, Nakanishi S, Murakami K. Structure of the human renin gene. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1984 Oct;81(19):5999–6003. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Davies DR. The structure and function of the aspartic proteinases. Annu Rev Biophys Biophys Chem. 1990;19:189–215. [PubMed]
  • Tang J, Wong RN. Evolution in the structure and function of aspartic proteases. J Cell Biochem. 1987 Jan;33(1):53–63. [PubMed]
  • James MN, Sielecki AR. Molecular structure of an aspartic proteinase zymogen, porcine pepsinogen, at 1.8 A resolution. Nature. 1986 Jan 2;319(6048):33–38. [PubMed]

Articles from Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America are provided here courtesy of National Academy of Sciences


Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...


Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...