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Genomics. 1995 Sep 20;29(2):426-37.

cDNA cloning, molecular characterization, and chromosomal localization of NET(EPHT2), a human EPH-related receptor protein-tyrosine kinase gene preferentially expressed in brain.

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  • 1Division of Neurology Research, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA.


By screening a human fetal brain cDNA expression library using a monoclonal anti-phosphotyrosine antibody, we have isolated a cDNA clone encoding a receptor type protein-tyrosine kinase belonging to the EPH family, NET (neuronally expressed EPH-related tyrosine kinase). NET shows 87% homology in nucleotide sequence and 99% homology in the deduced amino acid sequence to rat elk, suggesting that NET is the human homologue of elk. The NET gene is mapped to human chromosome 3q21-q23 by PCR screening of a human-rodent somatic cell hybrid panel and by fluorescence in situ hybridization. Examination of NET mRNA expression in several human tissues has shown that the NET gene is expressed preferentially in brain as a 5-kb transcript. Steady-state levels of NET mRNA in human brain are greater in the midterm fetus than in the adult. Lower levels of NET mRNA are found in fetal kidney and adult skeletal muscle. The expression pattern of NET mRNA thus differs from that of elk, suggesting that these two gene products may perform distinct roles in human and rat. NET transcripts are detected in human NTera-2 teratocarcinoma cells after retinoic acid-induced neuronal differentiation. Several human tumor cell lines derived from neuroectoderm including primitive neuroectodermal tumor, small cell lung carcinoma, and neuroblastoma also express NET transcripts. Since the NET mRNA expression in human brain is developmentally regulated and is induced during neuronal differentiation, NET potentially plays important roles in human neurogenesis.

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