The cell surface Fas antigen is a membrane-associated polypeptide which can mediate apoptosis. cDNA clones encoding the Fas antigen were isolated from a cDNA library constructed with mRNA from the mouse macrophage cell line BAM3. The nucleotide sequence and the deduced amino acid sequence of the mouse Fas antigen were 58.5 and 49.3% identical, respectively, to the corresponding sequences of human Fas antigen cDNA. The mouse Fas antigen consists of 306 amino acids with a calculated Mr of 34,971 and contains a single transmembrane domain which divides the molecule into extracellular and cytoplasmic domains. A 2.1-kb mRNA coding for the Fas antigen was detected in the mouse thymus, heart, liver, and ovary but not in brain and spleen. The expression of the Fas antigen gene in mouse fibroblast L929 and macrophage BAM3 cell lines was significantly induced by treatment with IFN-gamma but not by IFN-alpha/beta. Interspecific backcross analysis indicated that the gene coding for the Fas antigen is in the distal region of mouse chromosome 19.

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