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J Biol Chem. 1994 Mar 25;269(12):9319-24.

Isolation of a cDNA encoding 5T4 oncofetal trophoblast glycoprotein. An antigen associated with metastasis contains leucine-rich repeats.

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Cancer Research Campaign Department of Immunology, Paterson Institute for Cancer Research, Christie Hospital, Manchester, United Kingdom.


The monoclonal antibody 5T4 defines a human oncotrophoblast antigen expressed by a variety of carcinomas but with a restricted pattern of expression in normal adult tissues. The 5T4 antigen has been isolated from term placenta as a 72-kDa glycoprotein consisting of a 42-kDa core protein with extensive N-linked glycosylation. A cDNA has been isolated from a human placental library using pools of oligonucleotides based on amino acid sequence obtained from purified 5T4 molecules. The predicted open reading frame encodes a protein of 420 amino acids with a molecular mass of 46 kDa and 8 potential N-glycosylation sites. There are N- and C-terminal hydrophobic segments corresponding to putative signal and membrane anchorage sequences, respectively. Northern analysis has demonstrated a major 2.5-kilobase mRNA present in cell lines serologically reactive with the monoclonal antibody 5T4. Comparison of the 5T4 protein sequence with current sequence data bases has identified the presence of leucine-rich repeats, which are found in a variety of proteins from yeast, insects, and mammals. The 5T4 antigen expression is strongly associated with metastasis in colorectal and gastric cancer, and, hence, the possible functions of the gene product and its relationship to tumor growth and progression are discussed.

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