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Biochimie. 1999 Jul;81(7):709-15.

Sarcolectin (SCL): structure and expression of the recombinant molecule.

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  • 1Université René-Descartes, Paris V, Laboratoire des Interférons et de la Sarcolectine H440, France.


Interferons (IFNs) are major cytokines, responsible for down-regulating cell growth and for promoting cell differentiation. The sarcolectin (SCL) protein presented here blocks in the cells the established IFN-dependent interphase and stimulates DNA synthesis, probably in co-ordination with more specific growth factors or hormones. The SCL-DNA structure is closely related to that of cytokeratine K2C7 intermediate filaments, but the SCL is a monomer, or sometimes a dimer, which is excreted into the serum, where it is frequently bound to albumin. Its specific biological functions are carried by the beta sheets, and can be found on the two terminal domains of the molecule, the lectinic properties being located mainly on the N-terminus. The recombinant SCL molecule possesses the same biological functions as the native one, since it inhibits the IFN-dependent antiviral state both in human and in mouse cell cultures. On the contrary, antibodies raised against amino acids 41-55 located on the N-terminal domain of SCL inhibit this antagonistic effect. We postulate that the IFN and SCL proteins, because of their opposite biological functions, are in balance and are part of a feedback system operating the regulation of normal growth. In pathological cases, SCL could play a role in the development of tumors, as we have found in juvenile osteosarcomas or in AIDS cases.

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