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Gene. 1989 Mar 15;76(1):1-9.

Human gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase cDNA: comparison of hepatoma and kidney mRNA in the human and rat.

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  • 1McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research, Department of Oncology, Medical School, University of Wisconsin, Madison 53706.


gamma-Glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT) is a glutathione-metabolizing enzyme that has been extensively studied in relation to hepatocarcinogenesis. Using a cDNA for rat kidney GGT as a probe, we have isolated a full-length cDNA for human GGT from a hepatoma cell-line library. Nucleotide sequence analysis of the clone revealed a 2326-bp insert that includes a 5'-untranslated region of 487 nucleotides (nt), an open reading frame (ORF) of 1707 nt, and a 3'-untranslated region of 132 nt. The ORF encodes a protein with an amino acid sequence that is highly similar to that of the rat GGT precursor peptide, with an overall identity of 79%. The cDNA clone was used to probe Northern blots of hepatoma and kidney RNA from both human and rat. In both species, the GGT mRNA is longer in hepatoma than in kidney. In addition, the human mRNAs were longer than their counterparts in the rat. None of three human hepatocellular carcinomas examined showed a marked elevation in GGT mRNA levels relative to surrounding liver tissue.

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