The human teratocarcinoma-derived growth factor (TDGF)-1 gene encodes a 188-amino acid protein, cripto-1. The TDGF-1 gene is overexpressed in the majority of human primary colorectal carcinomas and hepatic metastases, in breast carcinomas and in testicular nonseminoma germ cell embryonal carcinomas. In the human embryonal carcinoma cell line NTERA-2 clone D1, a 2-kb TDGF-1 mRNA transcript is expressed. The present study shows that a 1.7-kb mRNA transcript lacking the first two exons of the TDGF-1 gene is expressed in the human colon carcinoma cell line GEO. This shorter mRNA is the only TDGF-1 transcript that is present in the majority of primary human colorectal carcinomas and hepatic metastases and in adult human tissues such as the pancreas, heart, stomach, mammary gland, skeletal muscle, liver and placenta. In contrast, in the kidney, brain, testis, ovary and spleen, the longer 2-kb TDGF-1 mRNA transcript is expressed. The putative shorter protein starts at a CUG codon 129 nucleotides downstream of the starting AUG codon of the longer protein. These data indicate the potential for differential transcriptional regulation of the TDGF-1 gene in different normal and tumor tissues.
Copyright 2001 S. Karger AG, Basel