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EMBO J. 1990 Mar;9(3):765-70.

Cloning and sequence analysis of beta-4 cDNA: an integrin subunit that contains a unique 118 kd cytoplasmic domain.

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Central Laboratory, The Netherlands Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service, Amsterdam.


The alpha 6 beta 4 complex is a member of the integrin superfamily of adhesion receptors. A human keratinocyte lambda gt11 cDNA library was screened using a monoclonal antibody directed against the beta 4 subunit. Two cDNAs were selected and subsequently used to isolate a complete set of overlapping cDNA clones. The beta 4 subunit consists of 1778 amino acids with a 683 amino acid extracellular domain, a 23 amino acid transmembrane domain and an exceptionally long cytoplasmic domain of 1072 residues. The deduced amino-terminal sequence is in good agreement with the published amino-terminal sequence of purified beta 4. The extracellular domain contains five potential N-linked glycosylation sites and four cysteine-rich homologous repeat sequences. The extracellular part of the beta 4 subunit sequence shows 35% identify with other integrin beta subunits, but is the most different among this class of molecules. The transmembrane region is poorly conserved, whereas the cytoplasmic domain shows no substantial identity in any region to the cytoplasmic tails of the known beta sequences or to other protein sequences. The exceptionally long cytoplasmic domain suggests distinct interactions of the beta 4 subunit with cytoplasmic proteins.

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