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J Biol Chem. 1996 May 10;271(19):11548-56.

Molecular cloning and characterization of a newly identified member of the cadherin family, PB-cadherin.

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Division of Biochemistry, Osaka University Medical School, Japan.


We have isolated cDNA clones encoding novel proteins belonging to the cadherin family. These novel proteins are encoded by two distinct mRNA species generated by alternative splicing from a single gene, and based on preferential expression in the pituitary gland and brain, we named it PB-cadherin. One mRNA species encodes long type PB-cadherin composed of 803 amino acid residues with a longer cytoplasmic domain, whereas the other species encodes short-type PB-cadherin composed of 694 amino acid residues with a shorter cytoplasmic domain. Both long and short type PB-cadherin contain five repeats of a cadherin motif in the extracellular domain, the transmembrane domain, and the cytoplasmic domain, and the deduced amino acid sequences have a 30% homology to those of E-, N-, and P-cadherins. Although the primary structure of N-terminal amino acids is identical between long and short type PB-cadherin, the following structures in the cytoplasmic regions are completely different. The long type PB-cadherin but not the short type contains the putative catenin-binding domain. When these two distinct forms of PB-cadherins were stably expressed in L cells, L cells expressing long type PB-cadherin or short type PB-cadherin both acquired a Ca2+-dependent cell adhesion property, thereby indicating that both types of PB-cadherin are responsible for Ca2+-dependent cell adhesion. Persistent expression of PB-cadherin mRNA was found in the brain of rat embryos at least from embryonic day 15 to the postnatal period. In situ localization of PB-cadherin mRNA in the adult rat brain indicated that PB-cadherin mRNA is expressed in the inner granular layer of the olfactory bulb, Purkinje cell layer of the cerebellum, and in the pineal gland. PB-cadherin may play an important role in morphogenesis and tissue formation in neural and non-neural cells for the development and maintenance of the brain and neuroendocrine organs by regulating cell-cell adhesion.

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