Duck growth hormone (GH) was isolated and purified from duck pituitaries by salt precipitation and HPLC on reverse-phase C18 columns. The duck GH was homogeneous as shown by SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis with a molecular weight of 22 000. The cDNA was synthesized and cloned in Escherichia coli using Eco RI linkers and pBR322 as vector. The positive clones were selected and sequenced. The full-length duck GH cDNA contains 820 nucleotide pairs with an open reading frame coding for the precursor form duck GH of 216 amino-acid residues. The partial amino-acid sequence from the protein completely agrees with that derived from the cDNA, with Phe as the first residue in mature duck GH preceded by a 27-residue hydrophobic signal peptide. The duck GH is almost completely homologous to the chicken GH, with only three conservative substitutions (Ser for Thr, His for Tyr and Lys for Arg) and one deletion (Ala) in the duck GH sequence. Comparison of amino-acid sequence of duck GH with that of various species reveals 56%, 73% and 40% homologies with GHs of human, rat and salmon, respectively.
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