Identification and characterization of AMACO, a new member of the von Willebrand factor A-like domain protein superfamily with a regulated expression in the kidney

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The genes coding for human and mouse AMACO, an extracellular matrix protein containing VWA-like domains related to those in MAtrilins and COllagens, were detected in databases, the cDNAs were cloned, and the primary structures were deduced from the nucleotide sequences. The genes consist of 14 exons and have a similar exon/intron organization. The protein consists of a signal peptide sequence, an N-terminal VWA domain connected to two additional, tandem VWA domains by a cysteine-rich sequence and an epidermal growth factor (EGF)-like domain. The C terminus is made up of another EGF-like domain followed by a unique sequence present in mouse, but absent in human. The predicted molecular weight of the proteins is 79,485 in human and 83,024 in mouse. Full-length AMACO was expressed in 293-EBNA cells, purified by use of an affinity tag and subjected to biochemical characterization. Both monomers and aggregates of AMACO were recovered, as shown by electron microscopy and SDS-PAGE. AMACO was found in the media of a variety of established cell lines of both fibroblast and epithelial origin. In the matrix formed by 293-EBNA cells overexpressing the protein, AMACO was deposited in patchy structures that were often cell-associated. Affinity-purified antibodies detect expression in cartilage and expression associated with certain basement membranes. In the kidney of adult mice, a second promoter located in intron 4 is active. If the resulting transcript is translated it could not yield a secreted protein because of the lack of a signal peptide sequence. The developmental switch from an AMACO mRNA, expressed by the newborn kidney, to the truncated transcript found in the adult kidney indicates an unusual regulation of AMACO expression.


  • G Sengle
  • B Kobbe
  • Matthias Mörgelin
  • M Paulsson
  • R Wagener
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Infectious Medicine
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50240-50249
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number50
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Publication categoryResearch