We identified a cDNA clone for epiprofin, which is preferentially expressed in teeth, by differential hybridization using DNA microarrays from an embryonic day 19.5 mouse molar cDNA library. Sequence analysis revealed that this cDNA encodes a member of the Krüppel-like factor family containing three characteristic C2H2-type zinc finger motifs. The full-length cDNA was obtained by the 5′ Cap capture method. Except for its 5′-terminal sequence, the epiprofin mRNA sequence is almost identical to the predicted sequence of Krüppel-like factor 14/Sp6 (specificity protein 6), which was previously identified in expressed sequence tag data bases and GenBank™ by an Sp1 zinc finger DNA-binding domain search (Scohy, S., Gabant, P., Van Reeth, T., Hertveldt, V., Dreze, P. L., Van Vooren, P., Riviere, M., Szpirer, J., and Szpirer, C. (2000) Genomics 70, 93-101). This sequence difference is due to differences in the assignment of the location of exon 1. In situ hybridization revealed that epiprofin mRNA is expressed by proliferating dental epithelium, differentiated odontoblast, and also hair follicle matrix epithelium. In addition, whole mount in situ hybridization showed transient expression of epiprofin mRNA in cells of the apical ectodermal ridge in developing limbs and the posterior neuropore. Transfection of an epiprofin expression vector revealed that this molecule is localized in the nucleus and promotes cell proliferation. Thus, epiprofin is a highly cell- and tissue-specific nuclear protein expressed primarily by proliferating epithelial cells of teeth, hair follicles, and limbs that may function in the development of these tissues by regulating cell growth.
ASJC Scopus subject areas