A human pancreatic cDNA library was screened with the cDNA encoding rat "pancreatitis-associated protein" (PAP). The selected clone encoded a secretory protein structurally related to rat PAP. The protein had the same size as rat PAP and showed 71% amino acid identity, the six half-cystines being in identical positions. Domains of the proteins showing homologies with calcium-dependent lectins were also conserved. In addition, expression in pancreas of the genes encoding the human protein and rat PAP showed similar characteristics: both were expressed at very low levels in control tissue and overexpressed during the acute phase of pancreatitis, contrary to most secretory products. The human protein was therefore named human pancreatitis-associated protein (PAP-H). Antibodies raised to a synthetic peptide of PAP-H detected a single band with an M(r) compatible with PAP-H in Western blot analysis of proteins extracted from a pancreas presenting with acute pancreatitis. In that tissue, the protein could be immunolocalized to the apical regions of acinar cells. An immunoassay was also constructed to quantify the protein in serum. Elevated PAP-H levels were observed in patients with acute pancreatitis and in some patients with chronic pancreatitis. Values were close to background in healthy subjects and in patients with other abdominal diseases. These results confirm that PAP-H synthesis increases during inflammation and suggest a possible use of the protein as biological marker of acute pancreatitis.
B Orelle, V Keim, L Masciotra, J C Dagorn, J L Iovanna
Guidelines: The Editorial Board will only consider letters that we deem relevant and of interest to our readers. We will not post data that have not been subjected to peer review, nor will we post letters that are essentially a reiteration of another letter. All accepted letters will be posted on our website within one week of acceptance. We reserve the right to edit any letter for length, content, and clarity. Authors of all accepted letters will be asked to preview any changes. Authors will be notified by e-mail if their letters were not accepted. As this is a final decision, no appeals will be considered.
Specific requirements: All letters must be 400 words or fewer. You may enter the letter as plain text or HTML. The author's name and e-mail address are required, and will be posted with the letter. All possible conflicts of interest must be noted, even if they are not posted. If you wish to include a figure (keep in mind that non-peer-reviewed data will not be posted), please contact the editors directly at email@example.com.