A search of a nonmouse, nonhuman, expressed sequence tag database for messenger RNAs in the PRL/GH family has identified a novel rat complementary DNA clone. The encoded protein, designated PRL-like protein J (PLP-J), is predicted to be synthesized as a precursor of 211 amino acids, modified by N-linked glycosylation, and secreted as a mature glycoprotein of 182 residues. PLP-J messenger RNA synthesis is limited to early pregnancy with abundant expression on day 7, slightly declining expression on day 9, and no detectable expression by day 11. Unlike most other PRL family members, PLP-J does not appear to be synthesized by placental trophoblasts but, rather, by decidual cells surrounding the implantation site. By sequence similarity to rat PLP-J, a murine clone was identified in a mouse expressed sequence tag database. Mouse PLP-J was used to map the gene to a 700-kb region of mouse chromosome 13 that includes other members of the PRL/GH family.
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