Studies on the isolation, structural analysis and tissue localization of fetal antigen 1 and its relation to a human adrenal-specific cDNA, pG2.
ABSTRACT Fetal antigen 1 was purified from second trimester human amniotic fluid by immunospecific affinity chromatography followed by reversed-phase chromatography. Fetal antigen 1 is a single chain glycoprotein with a M(r) of 32-38 kDa. The amino acid composition revealed a high content of cysteines, prolines and amino acids (aa) with acidic side-chains indicating that fetal antigen 1 is a compactly folded, strongly hydrophilic molecule. The N-terminal amino acid sequence (37 aa) revealed no homology to other known protein sequences, implying that fetal antigen 1 is a 'novel' human protein. When the aa sequence was back-translated into the appropriate degenerate sequence of nucleic acids, fetal antigen 1 could be partially aligned to a 'human adrenal-specific mRNA, pG2'. The indirect immunoperoxidase technique demonstrated fetal antigen 1 in fetal hepatocytes, glandular cells of fetal pancreas and in fetal adrenal cortex, whereas fetal medullary cells were fetal antigen 1 negative. In adult specimens fetal antigen 1 was exclusively found within the beta cells of the islets of Langerhans and in the adrenals with pronounced staining in the cortex. Our observations suggest that fetal antigen 1 is encoded by the mRNA defined by the cDNA clone pG2, but definitive sequencing and expression studies of this mRNA have not been achieved.
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ABSTRACT: Much effort has focused recently on determining the mechanisms that control the allele-specific expression of genes subject to genomic imprinting, yet imprinting regulation is only one aspect of configuring appropriate expression of these genes. Imprinting control mechanisms must interact with those regulating the tissue-specific expression pattern of each imprinted gene in a cluster. Proper expression of the imprinted Delta-like 1 (Dlk1)-Maternally expressed gene 3 (Meg3) gene pair is required for normal fetal development in mammals, yet the mechanisms that control tissue-specific expression of these genes are unknown. We have used a combination of in vivo and in vitro expression assays to localize cis-regulatory elements that may regulate Dlk1 expression in the mouse embryo. A bacterial artificial chromosome transgene encompassing the Dlk1 gene and 77 kb of flanking sequence conferred expression in most endogenous Dlk1-expressing tissues. In combination with previous transgenic data, these experiments localize the majority of Dlk1 cis-regulatory elements to a 41 kb region upstream of the gene. Cross-species sequence conservation was used to further define potential regulatory elements, several of which functioned as enhancers in a luciferase expression assay. Two of these elements were able to drive expression of a lacZ reporter transgene in Dlk1-expressing tissues in the mouse embryo. The sequence proximal to Dlk1 therefore contains at least two discrete regions that may regulate tissue-specificity of Dlk1 expression.PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(5):e36483. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Objective. Recent data suggest that fetal antigen (FA1) is linked to disorders of body weight. Thus, we measured FA1 serum levels in two extreme nutritional states of morbid obesity (MO) and anorexia nervosa (AN) and monitored its response to weight changes. Design. FA1 and insulin serum concentrations were assessed in a cross-sectional study design at defined time points after gastric restrictive surgery for 25 MO patients and 15 women with AN. Results. Absolute FA1 serum levels were within the assay normal range and were not different between the groups at baseline. However, the ratio of FA1/BMI was significantly higher in AN. FA1 was inversely correlated with BMI before and after weight change in AN, but not in MO patients. In addition, MO patients displayed a significant concomitant decrease of FA1 and insulin with the first 25% of EWL, while in AN patients a significant increase of FA1 was observed in association with weight gain. Conclusion. FA1 is a sensitive indicator of metabolic adaptation during weight change. While FA1 serum levels in humans generally do not correlate with BMI, our results suggest that changes in FA1 serum levels reflect changes in adipose tissue turnover.ISRN endocrinology. 01/2012; 2012:592648.
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ABSTRACT: Aims: Delta like 1/fetal antigen 1 (Dlk1/FA1) is a protein secreted by hormone producing cells in adult human and mice that is known to inhibit adipogenesis. Recent studies demonstrated the role of Dlk1/FA1 in inducing insulin resistance in mice. To investigate the involvement of circulating Dlk1/FA1 in insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes in human subjects, we studied the effects of chronic FA1 on the intermediary metabolism in myotubes established from lean, obese, and type 2 diabetic (T2D) subjects. Methods: Myotube cultures were established from lean and obese control subjects, and obese T2D subjects and treated with soluble FA1 for 4 days supplemented with/without palmitate (PA). Lipid- and glucose metabolism were studied with labeled precursors while quantitative expression of genes was analyzed using real-time PCR. Results: Diabetic myotubes express significantly reduced insulin stimulated glucose metabolism compared to lean myotubes and a significantly decreased basal PA oxidation. Chronic FA1 exposure did not affect the intermediary metabolism in myotubes. Insulin sensitivity of glucose and lipid metabolism was not affected by chronic FA1 exposure in myotubes established from lean, obese, and T2D subjects. Instead, chronic FA1 exposure induced pro-inflammatory cytokines expression (IL-6 and CCL2) in association with reducing adipogenic markers (ADD1, AP2, CD36, and PPARg2) in myotubes. Consistent with this observation, addition of FA1 to cultured myotubes was show to significantly inhibit their differentiation into adipocyte. Conclusion: Our results exclude direct effects of FA1 on glucose and lipid metabolism in cultured myotubes established from lean, obese, and T2D subjects. Therefore, the pathogenesis of FA1-induced IR might mainly be mediated via the FA1-induced stimulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which on turn inhibit adipogenesis in human myotubes.Frontiers in Endocrinology 01/2013; 4:45.