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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1988 Apr;85(7):2320-3.

Isolation and sequencing of a cDNA coding for the human DF3 breast carcinoma-associated antigen.

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  • 1Laboratory of Clinical Pharmacology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115.


The murine monoclonal antibody (mAb) DF3 reacts with a high molecular weight glycoprotein detectable in human breast carcinomas. DF3 antigen expression correlates with human breast tumor differentiation, and the detection of a cross-reactive species in human milk has suggested that this antigen might be useful as a marker of differentiated mammary epithelium. To further characterize DF3 antigen expression, we have isolated a cDNA clone from a lambda gt11 library by screening with mAb DF3. The results demonstrate that this 309-base-pair cDNA, designated pDF9.3, codes for the DF3 epitope. Southern blot analyses of EcoRI-digested DNAs from six human tumor cell lines with 32P-labeled pDF9.3 have revealed a restriction fragment length polymorphism. Variations in size of the alleles detected by pDF9.3 were also identified in Pst I, but not in HindIII, DNA digests. Furthermore, hybridization of 32P-labeled pDF9.3 with total cellular RNA from each of these cell lines demonstrated either one or two transcripts that varied from 4.1 to 7.1 kilobases in size. The presence of differently sized transcripts detected by pDF9.3 was also found to correspond with the polymorphic expression of DF3 glycoproteins. Nucleotide sequence analysis of pDF9.3 has revealed a highly conserved (G + C)-rich 60-base-pair tandem repeat. These findings suggest that the variation in size of alleles coding for the polymorphic DF3 glycoprotein may represent different numbers of repeats.

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