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J Biol Chem. 1987 Jan 15;262(2):938-45.

Three cDNA sequences of mouse type I keratins. Cellular localization of the mRNAs in normal and hyperproliferative tissues.


We have constructed cDNA libraries with poly(A)+ RNA from normal mouse footpad epidermis and from a squamous cell carcinoma of mouse back skin. Both libraries were screened for type I keratin clones. We present sequence data of three keratin cDNA clones which selected mRNAs coding for two 52-kDa proteins (clones pke 52 and pkSCC 52) as well as for a 50-kDa protein (clone pkSCC50). According to their carboxyl-terminal sequences, the two 52-kDa keratin proteins belong to a group of keratins with serine-rich subdomains adjacent to the alpha-helix, whereas the short carboxyl-terminus of the 50-kDa protein lacks a distinct substructure. Sequentially the two 52-kDa keratins are more closely related to each other than to any other mouse type I keratin. However, in situ hybridization with specific subclones reveals a distinctly different pattern of expression in mouse epithelia. Clone pkSCC 52 contains sequence information for a 52-kDa keratin present in basal cells of epidermis and other stratified epithelia, whereas the pke 52 cDNA encodes a keratin which is predominantly expressed in suprabasal cells of nonepidermal tissues. In terms of nucleotide sequence identities, it cannot precisely be decided which of the two mouse 52-kDa proteins is the equivalent of the human epidermal 50-kDa keratin protein (Hanukoglu, I., and Fuchs, E. (1982) Cell 31, 243-252). In the case of the bovine keratin VII, however (Jorcano, J.L., Rieger, M., Franz, J.K., Schiller, D.L., Moll, R., and Franke, W.W. (1984) J. Mol. Biol. 179, 257-281) the sequence identity values speak for an equivalence with the mouse ke 52 keratin. Obviously, in situ hybridization experiments would best be suited to unravel the precise interspecies relationship between the four highly similar keratins. The discriminatory efficacy of this technique is further emphasized by the demonstration that the mRNA for a 50-kDa keratin is present not only in hyperproliferative epithelia, but also in normal cells of hair follicles.

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