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ABSTRACT: We studied a protein from the midgut of the silkworm Bombyx mori characterized by its ability to bind the prosthetic group of chlorophyll, that confers fluorescent properties to this protein. Several techniques, 2D electrophoresis purification, MS-MS and Maldi-TOF peptide sequencing, RT-PCR and nucleotide sequencing were used to obtain the nucleotide sequence and the deduced amino acid sequence. The coding sequence was compared to the gene sequence to define the number and size of introns and exons. The gene spanned 45.5 kb of DNA and consisted of 46 exons. The cDNA encoded a protein of 2721 amino acids. The protein was identified as a lipocalin with novel features. Most lipocalins are proteins with high affinity to small lipophilic molecules, with a molecular size in the 25 kDa range and a well conserved tertiary structure. The apoprotein described here revealed 15 lipocalin like structures, in line. We called this protein a polycalin (pentadecacalin).
Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 09/2006; 36(8):623-33. · 3.23 Impact Factor