We have recently identified the TSLC1 gene as a novel tumor suppressor in human non-small cell lung cancers. TSLC1 encodes a membrane glycoprotein with an extracellular domain homologous to those of immunoglobulin superfamily proteins. Truncation of TSLC1 in the cytoplasmic domain in a primary human tumor suggests that this domain is important for tumor suppressor activity. Here, we report the isolation of two TSLC1-like genes, TSLL1 and TSLL2, based on their structural homology with the sequences corresponding to the cytoplasmic domain of TSLC1. Significant similarity was also observed in the extracellular domain as well as in the overall gene structure, indicating that these three genes form a unique subfamily (the TSLC1-gene family) in the immunoglobulin superfamily genes. In contrast to the ubiquitous expression of TSLC1, TSLL1 is expressed exclusively in adult and fetal human brain, while TSLL2 is expressed in several specific tissues including prostate, brain, kidney and some other organs. Expression of TSLL1 and TSLL2 was lost or markedly reduced in many human glioma cell lines or some prostate cancer cell lines, suggesting that loss of expression of these genes might be involved in some human cancers.
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