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Cloning, cDNA analysis and prolactin-dependent expression of a marsupial a-lactalbumin
journal contributionposted on 1990-01-01, 00:00 authored by C Collet, R Joseph, Kevin Nicholas
The gene for a-lactalbumin has been cloned from a tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii) mammary gland cDNA library. Tammar a-Iactalbumin has approximately 50 and 30% homology to the a- lactalbumins of eutherians at the levels of nucleotide and protein sequence respectively. Comparison of the inferred tammar polypeptide sequence with the sequence of the eutherian proteins reveals extensive divergence at almost all of the non-essential amino acid residues. However, the hydropathy plots of the tammar protein are almost identical to those of eutherian a-lactalbumins, suggesting that protein conformation is conserved. The tammar gene encodes a transcript of approximately 975 bases. Northern blot analysis of hormone-stimulated mammary gland expiants shows that maximal induction of a-lactalbumin mRNA is dependent on prolactin and that expression is not modulated by other hormones that play a role in the initiation of lactation in eutherians. © 1990 CSIRO. All Rights Reserved.