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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Nov 1990; 87(21): 8417–8421.

cDNA cloning of a mouse mammary epithelial cell surface protein reveals the existence of epidermal growth factor-like domains linked to factor VIII-like sequences.


A 2.1-kilobase cDNA coding for a surface protein of mammary epithelial cells has been isolated from a mouse mammary gland lambda gt11 cDNA library. Sequence analysis of this cDNA reveals an open reading frame of 1389 base pairs that defines a protein with a molecular mass of 51.5 kDa. Structural analysis of the predicted sequence identifies two putative functional domains of the protein: (i) an N-terminal cysteine-rich region that is similar to epidermal growth factor-like domains of Drosophila Notch-1 protein and (ii) a large segment of the sequence that exhibited 54.5% identity with C-terminal domains of human coagulation factors VIII and V. These similarities in structure are used to predict the possible functions of the protein and its means of interaction with the cell surface. mRNA expression was detectable in mammary tissue from nonpregnant animals but was maximal in the lactating gland. In cultured cells, mRNA levels also correlated with the degree of cellular differentiation.

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