Characterization of the polycystic kidney disease 1 (PKD1) gene has been complicated by genomic rearrangements on chromosome 16. We have used an exon linking strategy, taking RNA from a cell line containing PKD1 but not the duplicate loci, to clone a cDNA contig of the entire transcript. The transcript consists of 14,148 bp (including a correction to the previously described C terminus), distributed among 46 exons spanning 52 kb. The predicted PKD1 protein, polycystin, is a glycoprotein with multiple transmembrane domains and a cytoplasmic C-tail. The N-terminal extracellular region of over 2,500 aa contains leucine-rich repeats, a C-type lectin, 16 immunoglobulin-like repeats and four type III fibronectin-related domains. Our results indicate that polycystin is an integral membrane protein involved in cell-cell/matrix interactions.
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