Molecular cloning of a gene encoding matrix metalloproteinase-like protein from Gnathostoma spinigerum
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The advanced third-stage larvae (aL3) of Gnathostoma spinigerum contain a 24 kDa glycoprotein with diagnostic potential. Immunoscreening with the monoclonal antibody to the 24-kDa protein (mAb GN6/24) has identified a cDNA clone with an insert of 932 base pairs (bp). The insert contains a full-length gene of 732 bp encoding a protein that is 33–39% similar to matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) of Caenorhabditis elegans and several lower and higher vertebrates. The MMP-like protein of G. spinigerum possesses the catalytic domain, but lacks the propeptide and hemopexin-like domains found in other MMPs. A signal peptide of 23 amino acids at its amino terminus indicates that it is a secretory protein, which is confirmed by Western blot analysis showing the presence of the 24 kDa protein in the excretory–secretory products of aL3.
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