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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1996 Jul 9;93(14):7108-13.

Selection for genes encoding secreted proteins and receptors.

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Department of Neuroscience, Genentech Inc., South San Francisco, CA 94080-4990, USA.


Extracellular proteins play an essential role in the formation, differentiation, and maintenance of multicellular organisms. Despite that, the systematic identification of genes encoding these proteins has not been possible. We describe here a highly efficient method to isolate genes encoding secreted and membrane-bound proteins by using a single-step selection in yeast. Application of this method, termed signal peptide selection, to various tissues yielded 559 clones that appear to encode known or novel extracellular proteins. These include members of the transforming growth factor and epidermal growth factor protein families, endocrine hormones, tyrosine kinase receptors, serine/threonine kinase receptors, seven transmembrane receptors, cell adhesion molecules, extracellular matrix proteins, plasma proteins, and ion channels. The eventual identification of most, or all, extracellular signaling molecules will advance our understanding of fundamental biological processes and our ability to intervene in disease states.

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