A mucin-type glycoprotein has been described in murine, rat and canine tissues as a differentiation antigen and influenza-virus receptor. We have cloned a cDNA from human placenta RNA encoding the corresponding human protein, a type-I integral membrane protein of 162 amino acids. Madin-Darby canine kidney cells transfected with the cDNA clone directed the cell-surface expression of a 36-kDa O-glycosylated sialoglycoprotein, gp36, and two minor isoforms of 28 and 70 kDa. gp36 has a broad tissue distribution with strong expression in lung, placenta and skeletal muscle, as shown by PCR screening of different cDNA libraries. Immunohistochemical detection of gp36 in cryo-sections of human placenta, kidney, lung and nasal polyps showed that the glycoprotein is expressed at the apical plasma membrane of vascular endothelial cells. Expression of gp36 was not restricted to endothelial cells, as alveolar epithelial cells were found to express gp36 as well.

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