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Structure and Expression of Murine Intestinal Trefoil Factor: High Evolutionary Conservation and Postnatal Expression

Elsevier Inc.
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1006/bbrc.1995.1623


Abstract Intestinal Trefoil Factor (ITF) is a member of a family of gastrointestinal tract peptides with region-specific expression which are enhanced at sites of injury and repair. In the present study, the murine homologue gene of ITF was molecularly cloned in order to characterize the structure and expression of this peptide in mice. Murine ITF exhibited 78, 95 and 94% nucleotide homology respectively in exons I, II and III, with overall 90% predicted amino acid identity when compared to the rat ITF. Murine ITF exhibited 70% inferred amino acid identity compared with human ITF. Northern blot analysis of various adult mouse tissues demonstrated that ITF is expressed abundantly in the intestine and colon, and minimally in stomach, but not in brain, lung, spleen, kidney, uterus, pancreas, liver, heart or thymus tissues. Expression of ITF appeared to occur as a post-natal event: antibody specific for ITF stains intensely goblet cells in the intestine and colon of three-day old and older mice, but not in the gastrointestinal tract of younger mice or embryos.

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