The genomic DNA for a novel member of the cadherin family (BS-cadherin) was cloned and characterized from the colonial marine invertebrate, Botryllus schlosseri. Using a differential display of mRNA by means of PCR, a small cDNA fragment of 380 nucleotides was found to be specifically expressed in a colony undergoing allogeneic rejection processes, as compared with naive parts of the same genotype. This cDNA fragment was used as a probe to screen a genomic library of Botryllus schlosseri. A genomic fragment containing an ORF of 2718 nucleotides, with no introns, was isolated. The encoded protein exhibits a typical structure of cadherins; an extracellular domain with conserved repeated sequences (cadherin signatures), a single transmembrane domain and a conserved cytoplasmic tail region. The BS-cadherin amino-acid sequence shows 32-35% identity to mature classical cadherins type I, e.g., N-, P- and E-cadherin as well as mature classical cadherins type II, e.g., human cadherin-6, -8 and OB-cadherin. This cadherin represents a new cadherin gene family, evolutionarily distant to all other known classical cadherins.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank Jan Lohmann for discussion on DD-PCR. This study is part of the research carried out in the Minerva Center for Marine Invertebrate Immunology and Developmental Biology and was supported by grants from HFSP, the US-Israel Binational Science Foundation (B.R.) and the DFG (T.C.G.B.).
- Cell adhesion
- Differential display of mRNA technique
- Genomic library
- Nucleotide and amino acid sequence
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