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Thompson, John A.; Zimmermann, Wolfgang (1988): The Carcinoembryonic Antigen Gene Family. Structure, Expression and Evolution. In: Tumor Biology, Vol. 9, No. 2-3: pp. 63-83




The molecular cloning of carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) and several cross-reacting antigens reveals a basic domain structure for the whole family, which shows structural similarities to the immunoglobulin superfamily. The CEA family consists of approximately 10 genes which are localized in two clusters on chromosome 19. So far, mRNA species for five of these genes have been identified which show tissue variability in their transcriptional activity. Expression of some of these genes in heterologous systems has been achieved, allowing the localization of some epitopes. The characterization of a CEA gene family in the rat and a comparison with its human counterpart has been utilized in the development of an evolutionary model.