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Pig epidermal growth factor precursor contains segments that are highly conserved among species

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The 53-aa polypeptide epidermal growth factor (EGF) is synthesized as a 1200-aa precursor. The non-EGF part of the precursor is very long compared with EGF, and can therefore be expected to have a biological role of its own. We have sequenced cDNA of the pig EGF precursor and compared a 668-aa segment with that of the human, the rat and the mouse EGF precursors, in order to identify highly conserved domains. The examined part of the precursor contains EGF itself and six so-called EGF-like modules. The overall amino acid identity among the four species is 64%. However, the amino acid identity differed from around 30% in some segments to around 70% in others. The highest amino acid identity, 71%, was observed for a 345-aa segment that contains three EGF-like modules and which is homologous to a part of the low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDL receptor). The amino acid identities are 64% for EGF itself, and 50-67% for the remaining three EGF-like modules. The segment of the LDL receptor that is homologous to a part of the EGF precursor is important for the function of the LDL receptor, and EGF-like modules seem to be involved in protein-protein interactions in a number of proteins. In conclusion, some segments of the EGF precursor are remarkably well conserved among species and it is tempting to speculate that they have a biological function.
TidsskriftScandinavian Journal of Clinical & Laboratory Investigation
Udgave nummer4
Sider (fra-til)287-98
Antal sider12
StatusUdgivet - jul. 1998

ID: 47486662