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J Bone Miner Res. 1991 Feb;6(2):149-55.

Chicken parathyroid hormone-related protein and its expression during embryologic development.

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Department of Medicine, VA Medical Center, San Francisco, CA.


A parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP) is the probable cause of humoral hypercalcemia in malignancy, but its normal physiologic role remains unknown. Since current evidence suggests that PTHrP may have a role in embryonic development, we cloned a genomic fragment that encodes chicken PTHrP (cPTHrP) and studied the expression of PTHrP in developing chick embryos. Blot hybridization of chicken genomic DNA with a cPTHrP genomic DNA probe showed a single band, suggesting that a single-copy gene encodes cPTHrP. By screening a chicken genomic library with the human probe an open reading frame was identified that corresponds to the human PTHrP (hPTHrP) exon IV. Compared to the human sequence the 5' splice junction is highly conserved and the two predicted propeptide residues are identical. The sequence predicts a mature peptide of 139 amino acids; all of the first 21 and 94 of the first 112, but only 8 of the final 27 residues of cPTHrP are identical to the human sequence. The structural features required for PTH receptor binding and activation are highly conserved between chicken and hPTHrP. Poly(A)-enriched RNA from 3-15 day chicken embryos was surveyed by hybridization to the chicken probe. A hybridizing band of 1.45 kb was found in tissues derived from all three germ layers, including brain, heart, lung, liver, gizzard, intestine, chorioallantoic membrane, yolk sac, and skeletal muscle. An additional 1.2 kb hybridizing band was found in some tissues. The conservation of the PTHrP sequence between chicken and mammals supports the view that PTHrP has an important physiologic role.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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