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K Ohta, T Endo, K Gunji, and T Onaya


We have cloned a cDNA whose mRNA levels are increased in malignantly transformed rat thyroid FRTL cells (FRTL-Tc cells). We constructed a cDNA library from FRTL-Tc cells in λgt10 and screened the cDNAs by differential plaque filter hybridization. Twenty-five thousand clones were screened and one cDNA (C140) was selected which corresponded to a mRNA whose expression was 5·8 times higher in FRTL-Tc cells than in FRTL cells. A 0·8 kb specific C140 mRNA was detected by Northern blot analysis of FRTL-Tc and FRTL mRNAs. The C140 cDNA was sequenced and found to encode a protein of 227 amino acids.

We have found that C140 mRNA is conserved in human thyroid cells, but it is encoded by a smaller 0·7 kb transcript. C140 mRNA was highly expressed in neoplastic thyroid tissues and weakly in normal thyroid tissues in the same patients. Additionally, we found that C140 mRNA was also increased in the thyroid tissue of a patient with Graves' disease. These results suggest that C140 expression might be higher in rapidly growing thyroid cells than in normal cells, and might provide a new aspect for the study of thyroid tumours.