Journal of Molecular Neuroscience

, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp 71–78 | Cite as

Characterization of cDNA clones defining variant forms of human neural cell adhesion molecule N-CAM

  • John J. Hemperly
  • Jane K. DeGuglielmo
  • Robert A. Reid


The neural cell adhesion molecule N-CAM has been identified in a number of species and comprises at least three major cell surface polypeptides of different molecular structures and tissue distributions. We report here the isolation and characterization of cDNA clones encoding two of the three major forms of N-CAM from a human neuroblastoma cDNA libary. One of the clones, NII-6, provides the first complete sequence of a small cytoplasmic domain (140 kDa) form of the molecule in humans and differs in a number of respects from cDNA clones derived from human muscle. These differences include the presence of a 30-bp insert in the fourth immunoglobulin-like domain of N-CAM, a 3-bp insert in the extracellular portion of the molecule, and an additional 6 pb in the middle of the membrane-spanning segment. Based on the analysis of a genomic DNA clone spanning these regions of N-CAM, the first two differences arise by alternate splicing of RNA and occur in some, but not all clones; the additional 6 bp may reflect a genetic polymorphism. A second cDNA clone, NI-10, encodes the complete sequence of a segment that is specific to the large cytoplasmic domain (180 kDa) polypeptide of human N-CAM and is very similar to corresponding segments of mouse, chicken, and rat N-CAM. This sequence also arises by alternative splicing of RNA. In addition, we have identified a genomic DNA segment encoding sequences specific to the third, small surface domain (120 kDa) polypeptide of N-CAM. The data presented here and previously define the DNA sequences of the membrane-bound forms and known variants of human N-CAM. From these sequences, a wide variety of probes can be generated for investigating the expression of particular N-CAM polypeptides in normal and pathological tissues.


cDNA Clone Neural Cell Adhesion Molecule Neuroblastoma Cell Line EcoRI Fragment pDSN 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • John J. Hemperly
    • 1
  • Jane K. DeGuglielmo
    • 1
  • Robert A. Reid
    • 1
  1. 1.Becton Dickinson and Company Research CenterResearch Triangle ParkUSA

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