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Biochim Biophys Acta. 1998 Dec 8;1429(1):208-16.

Purification and analysis of RTI40, a type I alveolar epithelial cell apical membrane protein.

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Cardiovascular Research Institute, University of California, San Francisco 94143, USA.


RTI40 is a 40-42 kDa protein that, within the lung, is specific to the apical plasma membrane of the rat alveolar type I cell. Type I cells cover greater than 95% of the internal surface area of the lung. In this report, we describe some of the physical properties of RTI40, and its purification to homogeneity. By liquid phase isoelectric focusing, the pI of the protein is 3.0+/-0.5. In two-dimensional immunoblots, there is a 1.0 pH unit charge train, suggesting post-translational modification of the protein. We have purified the protein to homogeneity by the following method. A membrane preparation from perfused rat lungs was extracted with detergent and applied to an ion-exchange column. Immunoreactive fractions from the column were pooled, dialyzed and further fractionated by reverse phase high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Essentially all the antigenicity was recovered in one protein peak that was homogeneous both by spectral analysis and silver-stained polyacrylamide gels. Because the purified protein was N terminus blocked, we cleaved the protein with CNBr and fractionated peptide fragments by reverse phase HPLC. Fractions were pooled and concentrated. Direct amino acid sequencing of the major peptide fragment yielded a 15 amino acid peptide homologous to a mouse osteoblast protein, OTS-8. Analysis of purified RTI40 shows that the protein contains glycan, some of which is sialic acid. Characterization of RTI40 should facilitate future studies of the functional properties of RTI40.

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