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J Biol Chem. 1991 Dec 25;266(36):24684-9.

Cloning, sequence, and developmental expression of a type 5, tartrate-resistant, acid phosphatase of rat bone.

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Department of Oral Pathology, Karolinska Institute, School of Dentistry, Huddinge, Sweden.


Tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP) is a characteristic constituent of osteoclasts and some mononuclear preosteoclasts and, therefore, used as a histochemical and biochemical marker for osteoclasts and bone resorption. We now report the isolation of a 1397-base pair (bp) full-length TRAP/tartrate-resistant acid ATPase (TrATPase) cDNA clone from a neonatal rat calvaria lambda gt11 cDNA library. The cDNA clone consists of a 92-bp untranslated 5'-flank, an open reading frame of 981 bp and a 324-bp untranslated 3'-poly(A)-containing region. The deduced protein sequence of 327 amino acids contains a putative cleavable signal sequence of 21 amino acids. The mature polypeptide of 306 amino acids has a calculated Mr of 34,350 Da and a pI of 9.18, and it contains two potential N-glycosylation sites and the lysosomal targeting sequence DKRFQ. At the protein level, the sequence displays 89-94% homology to TRAP enzymes from human placenta, beef spleen, and uteroferrin and identity to the N terminus of purified rat bone TRAP/TrATPase. An N-terminal amino acid segment is strikingly homologous to the corresponding region in lysosomal and prostatic acid phosphatases. The cDNA recognized a 1.5-kilobase mRNA in long bones and calvaria, and in vitro translation using, as template, mRNA transcribed from the full-length insert yielded an immunoprecipitated product of 34 kDa. In neonatal rats, TRAP/TrATPase mRNA was highly expressed in skeletal tissues, with much lower (less than 10%) levels detected in spleen, thymus, liver, skin, brain, kidney, brain, lung, and heart. In situ hybridization demonstrated specific labeling of osteoclasts at endostal surfaces and bone trabeculae of long bones. Thus, despite the apparent similarity of this osteoclastic TRAP/TrATPase with type 5, tartrate-resistant and purple, acid phosphatases expressed in other mammalian tissues, this gene appears to be preferentially expressed at skeletal sites.

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