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EMBO J. 1985 Mar;4(3):645-53.

Structure and expression of the mRNA for murine granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor.


A cDNA containing a virtually complete copy of the mRNA for the haemopoietic growth regulator, granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF), has been isolated from a murine T lymphocyte cDNA library. When a eukaryotic expression vector with this cDNA coupled to the SV40 late promoter was introduced into simian COS cells, significant quantities of GM-CSF were secreted. Since all of the biological activities previously ascribed to highly purified GM-CSF were exhibited in the COS cell-derived GM-CSF, all of these activities are intrinsic to the product of a single gene. There are two potential translational initiation codons in the GM-CSF mRNA; the first is buried in the stem and the second located in the loop of a very stable hairpin structure. Expression studies using deletion derivatives of the cDNA indicated that the second AUG is able to initiate the translation and secretion of GM-CSF. The amino acid sequence of the leader peptide is rather atypical for a secreted protein and we speculate that molecules which initiate at the first AUG might exist as integral membrane proteins whereas those initiating at the second are secreted.

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