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J Exp Zool. 1998 Oct 15;282(3):301-9.

Partial clone of the gene for AS protein of the lamprey Petromyzon marinus, a member of the albumin supergene family whose expression is restricted to the larval and metamorphic phases of the life cycle.

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1
Dept. of Zoology, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. filosa@scar.utoronto.ca

Abstract

AS was previously found to be a liver-synthesized serum protein that is found in the larval (ammocoete), metamorphosing, and juvenile individuals during the life cycle of Petromyzon marinus but not in the sexually mature upstream-migrant individuals (Filosa et al. [1982] Comp. Biochem. Physiol., 72B:521-530; [1986] Comp. Biochem. Physiol., 83B:143-149; Ito et al. [1988] J. Exp. Zool., 245:256-263). In the present work, a partial clone for the gene for the AS protein was isolated from a cDNA expression library made from ammocoete liver. Northern blots using this clone showed hybridization with mRNA from the intervals of the life cycle prior to the upstream-migration period but not from the upstream-migration period itself. The cloned DNA was sequenced and the deduced amino acid sequence was found to have 40% identity with an albumin (our SDS-1 protein) from the upstream migrants of P. marinus (Gray and Doolittle, [1992] Protein Sci., 1:289-302), which is homologous to mammalian serum albumin. Thus the lamprey has two genes, AS and SDS-1, that code for different but similar albumin-like proteins, which predominate at different phases in its life cycle. It is suggested that AS protein, because it is present only at the earlier phases of the life cycle and because its gene is transcribed only during this same period, may be an early version of the alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) of mammals that is found only in the embryonic, fetal, and neonatal phase of their life cycle.

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