Egfl7, a novel epidermal growth factor-domain gene expressed in endothelial cells
Gene Expression Regulation
We report the cloning and characterization of a novel epidermal growth factor (EGF) domain gene that was identified in a retroviral gene entrapment screen and is expressed in endothelial cells. This gene encodes a protein of 278 amino acids with an amino-terminal signal peptide and two centrally located EGF-like domains. We have named this novel gene in accordance with the guidelines of the Mouse Genome Informatics group Egfl7, for EGF-like domain 7. Egfl7 mRNA is expressed in highly vascularized adult tissues such as the lung, heart, uterus, and ovary. In addition, Egfl7 is expressed early during mouse embryogenesis and in undifferentiated murine embryonic stem cells. The analysis of Egfl7 expression in embryonic day 9.5 embryos by in situ hybridization indicates that Egfl7 is expressed in vascular structures in both the embryo proper and the yolk sac and at sites of mesodermal precursors of angioblasts. Within the cell, EGFL7 protein is localized to the endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi apparatus, suggesting that the protein is targeted for secretion. Indeed, recombinant EGFL7 is readily detectable in the supernatant media of transiently transfected HEK293 cells. We also report the identification of an Egfl7 paralog, Egfl8, and show that EGFL8 protein shares similar domains and molecular weight with EGFL7.