[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A cDNA encoding a new type II transmembrane protein has been isolated from human mast cells by subtraction cloning. This cDNA contains an open reading frame of 186 amino acids. RT-PCR analysis showed that this gene is differentially expressed in mast cells. Therefore, the peptide encoded by this gene was termed mast cell-expressed membrane protein 1 (MCEMP1). The MCEMP1 gene contains seven exons and was mapped to human chromosome 19p13.3. The epitope-tagged MCEMP1 has been expressed in mammalian cells and found to be localized to the cellular membrane with its C-terminus extending to the outside of the membrane and N-terminus into the cytoplasmic compartment. Monoclonal antibodies against MCEMP1 were generated and characterized by immunoprecipitation and FACS. The results showed that the native MCEMP1 is expressed in cord blood-derived mast cells and HMC-1 and THP-1 cell lines, but not in other cell types that we have tested. Immunochemical staining of human lung sections showed that MCEMP1 staining is specifically associated with lung mast cells.