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Mol Cell Biochem. 2000 Jan;204(1-2):49-56.

Selenoprotein W accumulates primarily in primate skeletal muscle, heart, brain and tongue.

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  • 1Department of Environmental and Molecular Toxicology, Oregon State University, Corvallis, USA.


The human selenoprotein W coding region with the selenocysteine codon (TGA) changed to a cysteine codon (TGT) was fused to six histidine codons (at its 3' end), cloned into a prokaryotic expression vector (pTrc99a), and the corresponding mutated selenoprotein W was expressed in bacteria. The protein was purified by Ni-NTA agarose column and reverse phase HPLC. Polyclonal antibodies raised against this protein were used in Western blots to determine tissue distribution of selenoprotein W from rhesus monkeys fed a commercial chow. Selenoprotein W was found in several tissues with highest amounts in skeletal muscle and heart (muscle 6 fold greater than liver) and lowest levels in liver, but selenium concentrations were highest in kidneys (10 fold greater than muscle) and lowest in skeletal muscle. Northern blots using a human selenoprotein W cDNA probe indicated that mRNA levels were highest in monkey skeletal muscle and heart (2-2.5 fold greater than in liver), which is similar to the pattern found with a human multiple tissue Northern blot. However, as in the monkey, selenium concentrations were highest in human kidney and lowest in skeletal muscle and heart. Thus, selenoprotein W protein levels correlated with selenoprotein W mRNA levels but not with tissue selenium concentrations.

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