A common protocadherin tail: multiple protocadherins share the same sequence in their cytoplasmic domains and are expressed in different regions of brain

Cell Adhes Commun. 1998;6(4):323-33. doi: 10.3109/15419069809010791.


To study the diversity of protocadherins, a rat brain cDNA library was screened using a cDNA for the cytoplasmic domain of human protocadherin Pcdh2 as a probe. The resultant clones contained three different types. One type corresponds to rat Pcdh2; the other two types are distinct from Pcdh2 but contain the same sequence in their cytoplasmic domains and part of the 3' flanking sequence. To clarify the structure of the proteins defined by the new clones, a putative entire coding sequence corresponding to one of the clones was determined. The overall structure is essentially the same as Pcdh2, indicating that the proteins defined by this clone, and probably by other clones, belong to the protocadherin family. Two PCR experiments and an RNase protection assay showed the existence of the corresponding mRNAs in rat brain preparations. Human and mouse cDNA clones with the same sequence properties were also isolated. Taken together, these results indicate that the clones are not cloning artifacts and that corresponding mRNAs are actually expressed in brains of various species. The results of in situ hybridization showed that the mRNAs corresponding to these clones were expressed in different regions in brain. Since protocadherins encoded by these mRNAs are likely to have different specificity in their interaction and share a common activity at their cytoplasmic domains, these protocadherins may provide a molecular basis, in part, to support the complex cell cell interaction in brain.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Brain Chemistry / genetics*
  • Cadherin Related Proteins
  • Cadherins / chemistry
  • Cadherins / genetics*
  • Cell Communication / genetics
  • DNA, Complementary / genetics
  • Gene Library
  • Humans
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Protocadherins
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • Rats
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Species Specificity


  • Cadherin Related Proteins
  • Cadherins
  • DNA, Complementary
  • PCDHGC3 protein, human
  • Pcdh4 protein, rat
  • Protocadherins
  • RNA, Messenger

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AB004276
  • GENBANK/AB004277
  • GENBANK/AB004278