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Regul Pept. 2000 Jun 30;90(1-3):61-8.

Isolation and characterization of putative trefoil peptide receptors.

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Department of Protein Chemistry, Health Care Discovery, Novo Nordisk A/S, DK-2880, Bagsvaerd, Denmark.


Mammalian trefoil factors (TFFs) constitute a group of three peptides (TFF1, TFF2 and TFF3) widely distributed in the gastrointestinal tract. Although a mucosal protection/healing effect of these peptides is well documented the mechanism of action is still unknown. A mucosal membrane extract was prepared from porcine stomach scrapings and incubated with a gel containing immobilized porcine TFF2. The affinity gel material was specifically eluted with a neutral buffer containing a high concentration of the ligand (porcine TFF2). A subsequent SDS-gel electrophoresis showed one protein with a MW of approximately 220 kDa and three proteins with MW around 140 kDa. The proteins were analyzed by trypsin digestion followed by mass spectrometric sequencing of tryptic fragments. In this way a 140-kDa beta subunit of fibronectin receptor and a 224-kDa CRP-Ductin gene product were identified. The CRP-Ductin gene product (also named MUCLIN), which is expressed in the intestinal crypts, is characterized by being a membrane protein with a short cytoplasmic region, a transmembrane domain and a large extracellular region. This protein thus fulfils some of the criteria for being a TFF receptor or a TFF binding protein.

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