Complete nucleotide and deduced amino acid sequences of human and murine preprocathepsin L. An abundant transcript induced by transformation of fibroblasts

J Clin Invest. 1988 May;81(5):1621-9. doi: 10.1172/JCI113497.


Transfection of an activated rat oncogene into NIH3T3 fibroblasts leads to transformation and induction of a metastatic phenotype. To identify genes whose activation might mediate these processes, we used a differential screening strategy. A 1.5-kb transcript is induced fiftyfold, constitutes 1% of ras transformed cell messenger RNA (mRNA) and is the most abundantly induced message in these cells. Our sequence data shows that it encodes murine cathepsin L, a potent collagenolytic and elastinolytic lysosomal enzyme. The murine clone was used to isolate human cathepsin L complementary DNA (cDNA) clones. The complete nucleotide and deduced amino acid sequences of human and murine preprocathepsin L are presented and compared to other papain family cysteine proteinases. Northern analysis shows that both human and murine cathepsin L probes hybridize to a 1.5-kb transcript in several tissues, but also to a 4-kb transcript in human kidney. These clones will facilitate studies of the structure, expression, and function of cathepsin L, including its unexpected upregulation in transformation.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Cathepsins / genetics*
  • Cell Line, Transformed
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA / genetics
  • DNA Restriction Enzymes
  • Deoxyribonuclease EcoRI
  • Enzyme Precursors / genetics*
  • Fibroblasts
  • Genes, ras
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Transcription, Genetic*
  • Transfection
  • Transformation, Genetic*


  • Enzyme Precursors
  • RNA, Messenger
  • DNA
  • DNA Restriction Enzymes
  • Deoxyribonuclease EcoRI
  • Cathepsins
  • preprocathepsin L

Associated data

  • GENBANK/M20495
  • GENBANK/M20496