TIMAP, a novel CAAX box protein regulated by TGF-beta1 and expressed in endothelial cells.
Representational difference analysis of the glomerular endothelial cell response to transforming growth factor-beta1 (TGF-beta1) revealed a novel gene, TIMAP (TGF-beta-inhibited membrane-associated protein), which contains 10 exons and maps to human chromosome 20.q11.22. By Northern blot, TIMAP mRNA is highly expressed in all cultured endothelial and hematopoietic cells. The frequency of the TIMAP SAGE tag is much greater in endothelial cell SAGE databases than in nonendothelial cells. Immunofluorescence studies of rat tissues show that anti-TIMAP antibodies localize to vascular endothelium. TGF-beta1 represses TIMAP through a protein synthesis- and histone deacetylase-dependent process. The TIMAP protein contains five ankyrin repeats, a protein phosphatase-1 (PP1)-interacting domain, a COOH-terminal CAAX box, a domain arrangement similar to that of MYPT3, and a PP1 inhibitor. A green fluorescent protein-TIMAP fusion protein localized to the plasma membrane in a CAAX box-dependent fashion. Hence, TIMAP is a novel gene highly expressed in endothelial and hematopoietic cells and regulated by TGF-beta1. On the basis of its domain structure, TIMAP may serve a signaling function, potentially through interaction with PP1.