TAFA: a novel secreted family with conserved cysteine residues and restricted expression in the brain

Genomics. 2004 Apr;83(4):727-34. doi: 10.1016/j.ygeno.2003.10.006.


We have discovered a family of small secreted proteins in Homo sapiens and Mus musculus using a novel database searching strategy. The family is composed of five highly homologous genes referred to as TAFA-1 to -5. The TAFA genes encode proteins of approximately 100 amino acids that contain conserved cysteine residues at fixed positions. TAFA-1 to -4 are more closely related to each other than to TAFA-5, in which a conserved motif including CC in TAFA-1 to -4 is not present. In H. sapiens, TAFA-3 has two isoforms formed by alternative splicing. Sequence homology analyses reveal that TAFA proteins appear distantly related to MIP-1alpha, a member of the CC-chemokine family. TAFA mRNAs are highly expressed in specific brain regions, with little expression seen in other tissues.

MeSH terms

  • Alternative Splicing
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Chemokine CCL3
  • Chemokine CCL4
  • Chemokines / genetics*
  • Chemokines / metabolism
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Conserved Sequence
  • Cysteine / chemistry*
  • Cysteine / metabolism
  • DNA Primers / chemistry
  • Expressed Sequence Tags
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Humans
  • Macrophage Inflammatory Proteins / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Models, Genetic
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Multigene Family
  • Phylogeny
  • Protein Isoforms
  • Protein Sorting Signals
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Signal Transduction


  • Chemokine CCL3
  • Chemokine CCL4
  • Chemokines
  • DNA Primers
  • Macrophage Inflammatory Proteins
  • Protein Isoforms
  • Protein Sorting Signals
  • Cysteine