Identification of a novel member of the TGF-beta superfamily highly expressed in human placenta

Gene. 1997 Dec 5;203(1):17-26. doi: 10.1016/s0378-1119(97)00485-x.


While conducting a gene discovery effort targeted to transcripts of the prevalent and intermediate frequency classes in placenta throughout gestation, we identified a novel member of the TGF-beta superfamily that is expressed at high levels in human placenta. Hence, we named this factor 'Placental Transforming Growth Factor Beta' (PTGFB). The full-length sequence of the 1.2-kb PTGFB mRNA has the potential of encoding a putative pre-pro-PTGFB protein of 295 amino acids and a putative mature PTGFB protein of 112 amino acids. Multiple sequence alignments of PTGFB and representative members of all TGF-beta subfamilies evidenced a number of conserved residues, including the seven cysteines that are almost invariant in all members of the TGF-beta superfamily. The single-copy PTGFB gene was shown to be composed of only two exons of 309 bp and 891 bp, separated by a 2.9-kb intron. The gene was localized to chromosome 19p12-13.1 by fluorescence in-situ hybridization. Northern analyses revealed a complex tissue-specific pattern of expression and a second transcript of 1.9 kb that is predominant in adult skeletal muscle. Most importantly, the 1.2-kb PTGFB transcript was shown to be expressed in placenta at much higher levels than in any other human fetal or adult tissue surveyed.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 19
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Gene Expression
  • Growth Substances / biosynthesis
  • Growth Substances / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Placenta / metabolism*
  • Pregnancy Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Pregnancy Proteins / genetics*
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / biosynthesis
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / genetics*


  • DNA, Complementary
  • Growth Substances
  • Pregnancy Proteins
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AF008303