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Cell. 1982 Dec;31(3 Pt 2):693-703.

The mesothelial keratins: a new family of cytoskeletal proteins identified in cultured mesothelial cells and nonkeratinizing epithelia.


The cytoskeletal proteins of cultured normal human mesothelial cells were found to consist of six major components, including actin, vimentin, the 40 kd keratin and the 44, 52 and 55 kd proteins, plus a minor 46 kd protein. Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis, peptide mapping and immunoprecipitation tests showed that the 40-55 kd mesothelial proteins are a family of keratins distinct in size, charge or peptide map from the "epidermal keratins" synthesized by cultured keratinocytes. Unique combinations of keratins from the epidermal and mesothelial keratin families were found to be synthesized by cultured bladder, esophageal, conjunctival, mammary, exocervical and ovarian surface epithelial cells. Mesothelial cells were the only epithelial cell type that synthesized vimentin at more than trace levels. We have also found that many carcinoma cell lines express keratins different from those of their cell type of origin.

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