Poly (A+) mRNA was isolated from fetal calf ligamenturn nuchae and used for the construction of cDNA libraries. A fraction highly enriched in elastin mRNA was used to prepare the cDNA probes for screening the libraries. A 2 kb clone, pREl, gave the most positive signal in colony hybridization. It hybridized to a mRNA of the same size as reported for elastin mRNAs from chick and sheep. Hybrid-arrested translation showed that translation of mRNAs for proteins other than elastin doublet was not inhibited by pREI. Southern blot analysis showed that pREl has sequence homology with pVE6 and pVE10, which were tentatively identified as elastin-related cDNA clones representing two distinct mRNAs. DNA sequence data from the 5′ end of pREl show that the translated amino acid sequence is not typical of known elastin sequences but contains some elastin-like sequences. All of this evidence strongly suggests the occurrence in fetal calf nuchal ligament of a mRNA which codes for a previously unknown elastin-related protein.

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