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Eur J Biochem. 1998 Sep 1;256(2):287-96.

Structural characteristics of bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana) transthyretin and its cDNA--comparison of its pattern of expression during metamorphosis with that of lipocalin.

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  • 1Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Shizuoka University, Japan. yamauchi@sci.shizuoka.ac.jp

Abstract

Transthyretin, an extracellular thyroid-hormone-binding protein (THBP) in higher vertebrates, is synthesized and secreted by the choroid plexus of all classes of vertebrates, except fish and amphibians, and synthesized in the liver of endothermic animals. Here, we report the nucleotide sequence of the cDNA for a THBP found in plasma of bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana) tadpoles before the climax of metamorphosis. The amino acid sequence clearly shows this protein to be an amphibian transthyretin. The three-dimensional structure of bullfrog transthyretin was derived using homology modeling. Compared with transthyretins from other vertebrate species, bullfrog transthyretin is highly conserved at the thyroid hormone-binding sites and other important structural regions of the subunits. Bullfrog transthyretin mRNA was found in tadpole liver, but not in tadpole choroid plexus. Thus, during evolution, synthesis of transthyretin in the liver of metamorphosing amphibians preceded that in the choroid plexus of reptiles, birds and mammals. It was previously observed that the protein most abundantly synthesized and secreted by the choroid plexus in adult amphibians is a lipocalin [Achen, M. G., Harms, P. J., Thomas, T., Richardson, S. J., Wettenhall, R. E. H. & Schreiber, G. (1992) J. Biol. Chem. 267, 23170-23174], in contrast to transthyretin being the most abundantly synthesized and secreted protein in the choroid plexus of mammals, birds and reptiles. Lipocalin mRNA was found in large amounts in tadpole choroid plexus, but not livers.

PMID:
9760166
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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