Synthetic peptides corresponding to cDNA-deduced amino acid sequences unique to the human and mouse retinoic acid receptor gamma 1 (hRAR-gamma 1 and mRAR-gamma 1, respectively) were used to generate anti-RAR-gamma 1 antibodies. Four mAbs were selected, which were directed against peptides found in region A1 (Ab1 gamma (A1)), region F (Ab2 gamma (mF) and Ab4 gamma (hF)) and region D2 (Ab5 gamma (D2)). These antibodies specifically immunoprecipitated and recognized by Western blotting RAR-gamma 1 proteins in COS-1 cells transfected with expression vectors containing the RAR-gamma 1 cDNAs. They all reacted with both human and mouse RAR-gamma 1 proteins, except Ab4 gamma (hF) that was specific for hRAR-gamma 1. Rabbit polyclonal antibodies, directed against a peptide from the mRAR-gamma 1 F region were also obtained (RP gamma (mF)) and found to be specific for mouse RAR-gamma 1 protein. Furthermore, in gel retardation/shift assays the antibodies specifically retarded the migration of complexes obtained with a RA response element (RARE). Antibodies raised against regions D2 and F also recognized the RAR-gamma 2 isoform which differs from RAR-gamma 1 only in the A region. On the other hand, antibodies directed against the A1 region of RAR-gamma 1 (Ab1 gamma (A1)) only reacted with the RAR-gamma 1 protein. The antibodies characterized here allowed us to detect the presence of mRAR-gamma 1 and gamma 2 isoforms in mouse embryos and F9 embryonal carcinoma cells nuclear extracts. They were also used to demonstrate that the mRAR-gamma 1 protein can be phosphorylated and that the phosphorylation occurs mainly in the NH2-terminal A/B region.

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