The cDNA for a previously described growth inhibitor, designated as mammary-derived growth inhibitor (MDGI) (Grosse, R., and P. Langen. 1989. In Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology. In press) has been cloned from a plasmid library which was derived from terminally differentiated bovine mammary gland. Sequencing of the cDNA showed an open reading frame coding for a protein of 133 amino acids. In six positions differences were found between the sequence determined from the cDNA and that determined previously by amino acid sequence analysis. Northern blot analysis revealed abundant MDGI mRNA in the terminally differentiated mammary gland, whereas in virgin gland, liver or pancreas transcripts were not expressed. By use of in situ hybridization technique transcription of MDGI in the developing bovine mammary gland was analyzed. Increasing amounts of MDGI mRNA were detected in the epithelial cells of embryonic mammary rudiment, in the epithelium of developing lobules and in terminal parts of ducts and lobuloalveolar epithelial cells of differentiated glands. There was a geographical gradient of MDGI mRNA concentration in bovine mammary gland reaching a maximum in the proximal parts of the tissue. An immunohistochemical analysis with different polyclonal and peptide directed antibodies against MDGI confirmed the in situ hybridization data with respect to the tissue-specific and differentiation-dependent MDGI expression in bovine mammary gland. The results suggest a close relationship between MDGI transcription and developmental processes in the normal bovine mammary gland.

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