Primary structure of human corticosteroid binding globulin, deduced from hepatic and pulmonary cDNAs, exhibits homology with serine protease inhibitors.
We have isolated and sequenced cDNAs for corticosteroid binding globulin (CBG) prepared from human liver and lung mRNAs. Our results indicate that CBG mRNA is relatively abundant in the liver but is also present in the lung, testis, and kidney. The liver CBG cDNA contains an open reading frame for a 405-amino acid (Mr 45,149) polypeptide. This includes a predominantly hydrophobic, leader sequence of 22 residues that precedes the known NH2-terminal sequence of human CBG. We, therefore, predict that the mature protein is composed of 383 amino acids and is a polypeptide of Mr 42,646. A second, in-frame, 72-base-pair cistron of unknown significance exists between the TAA termination codon for CBG and a possible polyadenylylation signal (AATAAA) located 16 nucleotides before the polyadenylylation site. The deduced amino acid sequence of mature CBG contains two cysteine residues and consensus sequences for the attachment of six possible N-linked oligosaccharide chains. The sequences of the human lung and liver CBG cDNAs differ by only one nucleotide within the proposed leader sequence, and we attribute this to a point mutation. No sequence homology was found between CBG and other steroid binding proteins, but there is a remarkable similarity between the amino acid sequences of CBG and of alpha 1-antitrypsin, and this extends to other members of the serpin (serine protease inhibitor) superfamily.