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J Biol Chem. 1992 Jul 25;267(21):14998-5004.

Cloning and expression of a cell surface receptor for advanced glycosylation end products of proteins.

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  • 1Department of Cellular and Molecular Biology, Merck Sharp & Dohme Research Laboratories, West Point, Pennsylvania 19486.


Advanced glycosylation end products of proteins (AGEs) are nonenzymatically glycosylated proteins which accumulate in vascular tissue in aging and at an accelerated rate in diabetes. A approximately 35-kDa polypeptide with a unique NH2-terminal sequence has been isolated from bovine lung and found to be present on the surface of endothelial cells where it mediates the binding of AGEs (receptor for advanced glycosylation end product or RAGE). Using an oligonucleotide probe based on the amino-terminal sequence of RAGE, an apparently full-length cDNA of 1.5 kilobases was isolated from a bovine lung cDNA library. This cDNA encoded a 394 amino acid mature protein comprised of the following putative domains: an extracellular domain of 332 amino acids, a single hydrophobic membrane spanning domain of 19 amino acids, and a carboxyl-terminal domain of 43 amino acids. A partial clone encoding the human counterpart of RAGE, isolated from a human lung library, was found to be approximately 90% homologous to the bovine molecule. Based on computer analysis of the amino acid sequence of RAGE and comparison with databases, RAGE is a new member of the immunoglobulin superfamily of cell surface molecules and shares significant homology with MUC 18, NCAM, and the cytoplasmic domain of CD20. Expression of the RAGE cDNA in 293 cells allowed them to bind 125I-AGE-albumin in a saturable and dose-dependent manner (Kd approximately 100 nM), blocked by antibody to RAGE. Western blots of 293 cells transfected with RAGE cDNA probed with anti-RAGE IgG demonstrated expression of immunoreactive protein compared to its absence in mock-transfected cells. These results suggest that RAGE functions as a cell surface receptor for AGEs, which could potentially mediate cellular effects of this class of glycosylated proteins.

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