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Eur J Biochem. 2001 Apr;268(7):2141-7.

Identification of the rat adrenal zona fasciculata/reticularis specific protein, inner zone antigen (IZAg), as the putative membrane progesterone receptor.

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Division of Biomedical Sciences, Queen Mary, University of London, UK.


Using immunological methods, a protein specific to the inner zones of the rat adrenal cortex, and called inner zone antigen (IZAg), was previously shown to have two interrelated forms of 26 kDa (IZAg1) and 55-60 kDa (IZAg2), and to have an action on steroid hydroxylation. After two-dimensional gel electrophoresis, and immunoaffinity column purification, N-terminal amino-acid analysis showed that the first 12 amino acids were identical to those of a recently described putative membrane located progesterone receptor (PPMR). RT-PCR was then used to generate the cDNA of this protein, using RNA extracted from rat adrenals. A glutathione S-transferase (GST)-fusion construct was expressed in Escherichia coli, and shown to generate an immunoreactive product of molecular mass consistent with its identification as IZAg1. More detailed examination of the distribution of this protein, not only in the zona fasciculata/reticularis of the adrenal cortex, but also in the Leydig cell, kidney and liver, suggest it may have a role in steroid hormone synthesis and/or metabolism.

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