A human term placental cDNA library was screened at low stringency with a human prolactin cDNA probe. One of the cDNAs isolated hybridizes to a 1.8 kb mRNA present in all four tissues of the placenta as well as to every nucleated tissue and cell line tested. The sequence of the full-length cDNA was determined. An extended open reading frame predicted an encoded protein product of 20.5 kDa. This was directly confirmed by the in vitro translation of a synthetic mRNA transcript. Based upon the characteristic placement of cysteine (C) and histidine (H) residues in the predicted protein structure, this molecule contains four putative zinc fingers. The first and third fingers are of the C4 class while the second and fourth are of the C2HC class. Based upon sequence similarities between the first two and last two zinc fingers and sequence similarities to a related rodent protein, cysteine-rich intestinal protein (CRIP), these four finger domains appear to have evolved by duplication of a preexisting two finger unit. Southern blot analyses indicate that this human cysteine-rich protein (hCRP) gene has been highly conserved over the span of evolution from yeast to man. The characteristics of this protein suggest that it serves a fundamental role in cellular function.
ASJC Scopus subject areas