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Mol Cell Biol. 1993 Aug;13(8):4976-85.

The protein encoded by a growth arrest-specific gene (gas6) is a new member of the vitamin K-dependent proteins related to protein S, a negative coregulator in the blood coagulation cascade.

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  • 1International Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Trieste, Italy.


A set of growth arrest-specific genes (gas) whose expression is negatively regulated after serum induction has previously been described (C. Schneider, R. M. King, and L. Philipson, Cell 54:787-793, 1988). The detailed analysis of one of them, gas6, is reported here, gas6 mRNA (2.6 kb) is abundantly expressed in serum-starved (48 h in 0.5% fetal calf serum) NIH 3T3 cells but decreases dramatically after fetal calf serum or basic fibroblast growth factor stimulation. The human homolog of gas6 was also cloned and sequenced, revealing a high degree of homology and a similar pattern of expression in IMR90 human fibroblasts. Computer analysis of the protein encoded by murine and human gas6 cDNAs showed significant homology (43 and 44% amino acid identity, respectively) to human protein S, a negative coregulator in the blood coagulation pathway. By using an anti-human Gas6 monospecific affinity-purified antibody, we show that the biosynthetic level of human Gas6 fully reflects mRNA expression in IMR90 human fibroblasts. This finding thus defines a new member of vitamin K-dependent proteins that is expressed in many human and mouse tissues and may be involved in the regulation of a protease cascade relevant in growth regulation.

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