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J Biol Chem. 1994 Aug 5;269(31):20126-33.

Molecular characterization of the melanocyte lineage-specific antigen gp100.

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  • 1Division of Immunology, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Huis, Amsterdam.


The glycoproteins recognized by monoclonal antibody (mAb) NKI-beteb are among the best diagnostic markers for human melanoma because their expression is restricted to melanocytic cells. Recently, we isolated a cDNA clone, termed gp100-c1, which confers immunoreactivity not only to mAb NKI-beteb, but also to two other mAbs used to diagnose malignant melanoma, HMB-50 and HMB-45. In this report, we demonstrate that gp100-c1 cDNA encodes glycoproteins of 100 kDa (gp100) and 10 kDa (gp10) which are recognized by these mAbs in human melanoma cells. The translation product deduced from the open reading frame present in gp100-c1 cDNA is highly homologous to another melanocyte-specific protein, Pmel17. Nucleotide sequence analysis of genomic DNA indicates that the transcripts corresponding to gp100 and Pmel17 cDNAs originate from a single gene via alternative splicing. In all normal and malignant melanocytic cells analyzed, gp100 and Pmel17 RNAs are simultaneously expressed.

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