We have sequenced and defined the expression during rat embryogenesis of the protocadherin fat, the murine homologue of a Drosophila tumour suppressor gene. As previously described for human fat, the sequence encodes a large protocadherin with 34 cadherin repeats, five epidermal growth factor (EGF)-like repeats containing a single laminin A-G domain and a putative transmembrane portion followed by a cytoplasmic sequence. This cytoplasmic sequence shows homology to the b-catenin binding regions of classical cadherin cytoplasmic tails and also ends with a PDZ domain-binding motif. In situ hybridization studies at E15 show that fat is predominately expressed in fetal epithelial cell layers and in the CNS, although expression is also seen in tongue musculature and condensing cartilage. Within the CNS, expression is seen in the germinal regions and in areas of developing cortex, and this neural expression pattern is also seen at later embryonic (E18) and postnatal stages. No labelling was seen in adult tissues except in the CNS, where the remnant of the germinal zones, as well as the dentate gyrus, continue to express fat.
Copyright 1998 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd.