Human apolipoprotein B: identification of cDNA clones and characterization of mRNA.
Apolipoprotein B (apoB) is a major protein component of low density and very low density lipoproteins. Because of its large size and heterogeneity, molecular studies of apoB have been difficult, and its structure and regulation remain poorly understood. We now report the identification of human apoB cDNA clones by antibody screening of hepatoma libraries in the expression vector lambda gt11. Both oligo(dT) primed and random primed libraries were constructed and screened with polyclonal antibodies to intact apoB, as well as with antibodies raised against a synthetic peptide based on the limited amino acid sequence available for apoB. The identity of the clones was unambiguously established by comparisons of the cloned cDNA sequences with apoB amino acid sequences. The clones hybridize to an exceptionally large 20 kb mRNA that is present in liver and intestine but not other tissues examined, consistent with the distribution expected from protein biosynthetic studies. The properties of the mRNA have implications for the biogenesis of the multiple apoB molecular weight forms secreted by liver and intestine.