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J Biol Chem. 1989 Apr 5;264(10):5806-11.

The complete amino acid sequence of a human folate binding protein from KB cells determined from the cDNA.

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Department of Medicine, State University Health Science Center, Brooklyn, New York.

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  • J Biol Chem 1990 Jan 25;265(3):1821.


Two species of folate binding protein (FBP), an integral membrane-associated form and a soluble secreted form, have been previously purified from cultured human KB cells. The complete nucleotide sequence of the complementary DNA (cDNA) clone for the coding region of the mature membrane-associated FBP has now been determined, and the deduced amino acid sequence has been computer-analyzed for a prediction of the secondary structure of the protein. The clone has 857 nucleotides of which 678 comprise the coding region for 226 amino acids. The deduced amino sequence contains the identical sequence of the published 18 NH2-terminal amino acids of the purified FBP from KB cells and the published partial amino acid sequence of the human milk FBP except for 1 residue. There was also over 90% homology with the published amino acid sequence of the bovine milk FBP. A total of 16 cysteine residues has been conserved in the three proteins indicating that this amino acid may provide a tertiary structure which is required for its ligand binding function. Northern blot analysis using the cDNA probe identified a single band of 1.28-kilobase pair mRNA in KB cells which was 4.7-fold more intense in folate-depleted cells than in normal cells. These results indicate that the membrane FBP and the soluble FBP in the medium are translation products of the same gene. Computer analysis of the deduced amino acid sequence indicates that there is only one stretch of amino acids of sufficient hydrophobicity and length to span the lipid bilayer of the plasma membrane, but it lacked a predictable helical structure. Those regions of the sequence which did have a predictable helical structure lacked sufficient hydrophobicity required for a membrane anchor. Thus, it is likely that the fatty acids previously reported to be present in the membrane-associated FBP from these cells rather than a peptide sequence provide an important membrane anchoring function.

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