A truncated, secreted form of the epidermal growth factor receptor is encoded by an alternatively spliced transcript in normal rat tissue

L. A. Petch, J. Harris, V. W. Raymond, A. Blasband, D. C. Lee, H. S. Earp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Two independent cDNA clones corresponding to a 2.7-kilobase (kb) epidermal growth factor receptor (EGF-R) mRNA were isolated from a rat liver cDNA library. Sequence analysis revealed 100% homology in the external domain when compared with the full-length rat EGF-R nucleotide sequence and 80 to 90% similarity relative to the human EGF-R. However, the 3'-terminal sequence of these clones did not match EGF-R or any other known sequence(s) and was distinct from the 3' end of the 2.8-kb mRNA, which encodes a truncated EGF-R in A431 cells. The deduced amino acid sequence revealed an open reading frame which is homologous to the external domain of the EGF-R but which terminates Prlor to the transmembrane region. Southern blot analysis of rat genomic DNA indicated that the 3'-terminal sequence of this transcript is derived from the EGF-R gene. Analysis of a genomic clone containing the 3' end of the 2.7-kb transcript revealed that this sequence is present as a discrete exon in the mid-region of the receptor gene in proximity to the exon encoding the transmembrane domain. Introduction of an expression vector containing the truncated EGF-R cDNA into Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells led to the expression of a 95-kilodalton protein which was detected in conditioned media, by using antisera directed against the EGF-R. A similarly sized protein was also detected in the media of WB cells, a continuous, nontransformed line of rat hepatic epithelial cells. Northern (RNA blot) analysis established that the truncated receptor is encoded by a 2.7-kb transcript found in normal rat liver. Furthermore, Northern analysis of rat poly(A)+ RNA showed that the 2.7-kb EGF-R transcript is expressed at differing levels in various fetal and adult tissues. These data indicate that alternative splicing of the EGF-R primary transcript yields a 2.7-kb mRNA which codes for a truncated form of the receptor. This receptor is secreted by rat hepatic epithelial cells in culture, which suggests that it may be secreted by normal rat cells or tissues and perhaps serve an as yet unknown physiological function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2973-2982
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular and Cellular Biology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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