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Mol Reprod Dev. 1995 Jun;41(2):149-56.

Possible role of variant RNA transcripts in the regulation of epidermal growth factor receptor expression in human placenta.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Illinois at Chicago 60612, USA.


Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) plays an important role in growth and differentiation. The human placenta expresses high levels of the receptor. In the placenta, as in many other human tissues, EGFR is encoded by two RNA transcripts of 5.8 kb and 10.5 kb. The placenta also expresses a putative truncated EGFR transcript of 1.8 kb, which encodes only the ligand binding domain of the receptor. The etiology and role of these variant EGFR transcripts is unknown. Using the human placenta as a model to study this area, we report 1) the relationships among these transcripts suggest that the induction of alternate pathways of EGFR RNA processing is involved in their etiologies; 2) the 10.5 kb transcript may be the principal transcript involved in determining the level of the protein receptor; and 3) the isolation of a soluble protein with characteristics consistent with a translational product corresponding to the 1.8 kb transcript, which may act in regulating the activity of EGFR. Together these results suggest that alternate processing of EGFR RNA into variant transcripts may represent a novel mechanism involved in the regulation of the receptor protein.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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