This paper reports further study of the identity and function of a protein shown to be elevated in serum from cystic fibrosis (CF) patients and clinically normal heterozygotes. Monoclonal antibodies, specifically recognizing the tentatively named cystic fibrosis antigen (CFAg), were produced. Immunoaffinity purification of CFAg from several sources revealed two components: 11 × 10(3) and 14 × 10(3) Mr protein. cDNA clones corresponding to each protein have been isolated. Data-base comparisons of the deduced amino acid sequences suggest that both genes encode related but distinct calcium-binding proteins. We propose the name calgranulin A and B, for the 11 × 10(3) and 14 × 10(3) Mr components, respectively. It is clear from the assignment of the calgranulin genes to chromosome 1 that neither is the product of the mutant CF gene, which maps to chromosome 7. We have used the monoclonal antibodies to study the tissue distribution of the two proteins in a wide-ranging immunohistological survey. Where possible the pattern of expression was confirmed by RNA blot analysis. Strong calgranulin expression in granulocytes was confirmed. In addition to myeloid cells, a restricted subset of normal stratified squamous epithelia were found to be calgranulin-positive. These included tongue, oesophagus and buccal cells, the last of which has been shown to have altered calmodulin activity in CF patients. Using indirect alkaline phosphatase staining, tissue sections of lung, pancreas and skin (normally considered sites where the CF defect is expressed) were not calgranulin-positive. However, by indirect immunofluorescence, nasal polyp sections showed weak patchy calgranulin expression in some epithelial cells, and stronger, higher frequency expression when such cells were briefly cultured.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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