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EMBO J. 1983;2(6):1003-7.

Molecular cloning of human haptoglobin cDNA: evidence for a single mRNA coding for alpha 2 and beta chains.


Human haptoglobin (Hp) is a plasma glycoprotein composed of alpha and beta polypeptide chains that are covalently associated by disulfide bonds. It had been suggested that alpha and beta polypeptides could be synthesized via a common precursor polypeptide. We report the molecular cloning of DNA complementary to human Hp mRNA. One of the clones, pULB1148, carries a full length copy coding for both alpha 2 and beta polypeptides. In vitro translation of human liver mRNA hybridizing with this cDNA gives a protein mol. wt. of 49000 daltons. The sequence of the alpha 2 beta cDNA shows the presence of a single Arg residue between Gln 142 of the alpha 2 chain and Ileu 1 of the beta chain. With a few minor exceptions, the DNA sequence fits the previously published amino acid sequences. The differences are the presence of an Asp residue at position 52 of alpha 2 instead of Asn, the existence in beta of only one Lys residue between Gly 65 and the following Gln, the presence of Ser and Cys at positions 218-219 instead of Cys-Ser, and of Asp residues at positions 205 and 235 instead of Asn.

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