cDNA cloning of a novel cell adhesion protein expressed in human squamous carcinoma cells.
A novel protein (SQM1 protein) present in human squamous epithelial cells has been found to be involved in cell adhesion in squamous epithelial cells, endothelial cells and extracellular matrix proteins. The corresponding cDNA that encodes a 135-residue polypeptide has been isolated. Sequence analysis indicates that the encoded polypeptide is distinct yet related to the beta subunit of integrins. A new sequence motif consisting of a heptadic repeat of positively-charged residues present in the polypeptide has been identified and is proposed to be important in protein-protein interaction. These results suggest that SQM1 protein, a new cell adhesion molecule expressed in squamous epithelial cells, may play an important role in tumor metastasis.