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Biochim Biophys Acta. 1986 Oct 16;868(1):1-8.

Characterization of a complementary deoxyribonucleic acid for the coagulogen of Limulus polyphemus.


An 869-nucleotide-long cDNA clone for the coagulogen from Limulus amebocyte has been isolated and its nucleotide sequence has been determined. The deduced amino-acid sequence revealed a signal peptide, 20 amino acids long, and a mature protein of 175 amino acids. The amino-acid sequence of the coagulogen was compared to all known proteins by two computer programs. Using these programs, Limulus coagulogen showed 70% homology with the coagulogen of Tachypleus tridentatus (Japanese horseshoe crab). Further computer analysis showed no statistically significant homology to support an evolutionary origin of the horseshoe crab coagulogen common to other protein families. These results place horseshoe crab coagulogen in a new superfamily unrelated to any other proteins investigated. RNA blot analysis of Limulus RNA indicated that the coagulogen mRNA was about 900 bases long and represented an abundant species in the amebocyte while detected only in small quantities in the hepatopancreas. Besides mature RNA, high-molecular-weight forms of coagulogen RNA were also observed. Southern blot analysis of Limulus DNA digested with restriction endonucleases suggested that the Limulus coagulogen gene contains at least three introns, or belongs to a multigene family.

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