Human mesothelial cells, endothelial cells, and type II kidney epithelial cells growing in culture devote approximately 3% of their total protein synthesis to the production of an Mr approximately 46-kD, pI 7.1, secreted glycoprotein (designated Sp46). Fibroblasts make about 1/10th as much Sp46 as these cell types, and their synthesis is dependent upon hydrocortisone. Keratinocytes, urothelial cells, conjunctival epithelial cells, and mammary epithelial cells do not make detectable amounts of Sp46. Mesothelial cells secrete Sp46 onto the substratum, and from there it is subsequently released into the medium. Immunofluorescence analysis using specific antisera discloses that Sp46 is deposited beneath cells as a fine coating on the substratum. In sparse cultures, Sp46 is detected in trails behind motile cells. In contrast, secreted fibronectin coalesces into fibers, most of which remain in contact with and on top of the cells; thus Sp46 does not preferentially bind to fibronectin. About 6 kD of the mass of human Sp46 is N-linked oligosaccharide, which is terminally sialated before secretion. Sp46 has a low glycine content, indicating that it is not a collagenlike protein. Its NH2-terminal sequence over the first 40 amino acids does not resemble any protein for which sequence information is available. Sp46 appears to be a novel extracellular glycoprotein, high-level constitutive expression of which is restricted to mesoderm-derived epithelial and endothelial cells. We therefore propose for it the name "mesosecrin."

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