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Transformed human cells produce a new fibronectin isoform by preferential alternative splicing of a previously unobserved exon.

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  • Research Article
  • Biology
  • Medicine


Purification and amino acid sequence analysis of a proteolytic fragment of fibronectin (FN) from transformed human cells demonstrated that a high percentage of these FN molecules contains an extra amino acid sequence which is present only in a very low percentage of FN molecules from normal fibroblasts and is undetectable in plasma FN. This new amino acid sequence introduces into the FN molecule a site very sensitive to a number of proteolytic enzymes. By analyzing the cellular mRNA and genomic clones, we have demonstrated that this sequence derives from a differential splicing pattern of the FN mRNA precursors, which leads in transformed cells to a high-level expression of an extra type III homology repeat (ED-B) coded for by a previously unobserved exon. Here we also report the complete sequence of this new exon. These results demonstrate that in malignant cells the mechanisms regulating the splicing of FN mRNA precursors are altered.

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