We have isolated an ovine insulin-like growth factor-binding protein-2 (IGFBP-2) cDNA from an adult sheep cDNA library, to determine the structure of ovine IGFBP-2 and to examine the pattern of IGFBP-2 gene expression in adult sheep tissues. This cDNA had 81, 96 and 87% identity with the rat, bovine and human sequences respectively. The deduced amino acid sequence of the ovine IGFBP-2 showed 86, 95 and 85% homology with the rat, bovine and human peptide sequences respectively. The ovine IGFBP-2 cDNA encoded a precursor protein of 317 amino acids which comprised a 33 residue hydrophobic leader sequence and a 284 residue, 30·9 kDa, mature peptide. The 18 cysteine residues, which are a characteristic feature of IGFBPs, were conserved. Also, an Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD) sequence near the C terminus was present. A single transcript of∼1·5kb was expressed in abundance in selected tissues of an adult sheep, namely liver, kidney, adrenal, pituitary and choroid plexus. Southern blot analysis of ovine genomic DNA with the cDNA probe demonstrated that IGFBP-2 is encoded by a single gene. These findings indicate that the ovine IGFBP-2 protein is similar to that in other species and that, in the adult, the mRNA is expressed only in selected tissues.
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