Molecular cloning of mesothelin, a differentiation antigen present on mesothelium, mesotheliomas, and ovarian cancers

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1996 Jan 9;93(1):136-40. doi: 10.1073/pnas.93.1.136.


Monoclonal antibody MAb K1 recognizes a 40-kDa glycoprotein present on the surface of mesothelial cells, mesotheliomas, and ovarian cancers. We have used MAb K1 to isolate a 2138-bp cDNA that encodes this antigen. The cDNA has an 1884-bp open reading frame encoding a 69-kDa protein. When the cDNA was transfected into COS and NIH 3T3 cells, the antigen was found on the cell surface and could be released by treatment with phosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipase C. The 69-kDa precursor is processed to the 40-kDa form. The protein has been named mesothelin because it is made by mesothelial cells. Mesothelin may play a role in cellular adhesion.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / genetics*
  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / genetics
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA, Complementary / genetics
  • Female
  • GPI-Linked Proteins
  • Gene Expression
  • Genes
  • Glycosylphosphatidylinositols
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / genetics*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / genetics*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics


  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • DNA, Complementary
  • GPI-Linked Proteins
  • Glycosylphosphatidylinositols
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • mesothelin

Associated data

  • GENBANK/U40434