The friszled (fz) locus in Drosophila is required for the transmission of polarity signals across the plasma membrane in epidermal cells, as well as to their neighboring cells in the developing wing. The identification of a tissue polarity gene from the fz locus in Drosophila melanogasfer has been reported. The fz gene encodes a protein (Fz) with seven putative transmembrane domains, which was suggested to function as a G-protein-coupled receptor. Here we report the identification of a human homologue for the fz gene (FZD2). The FZD2 gene was isolated from a human ovarian cDNA library and mapped to 17q21.1 by fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) with a corresponding cosmid. The full-length cDNA of human FZD2 encodes a protein (FZD-2) of 565 amino acids that shares 56% sequence identity with Drosophila Fz. The expression of the FZD2 gene seems to be developmentally regulated, with high levels of expression in fetal kidney and lung and in adult colon and ovary. The structure of FZD-2 suggests that it has a role in transmembrane signal transmission, although its precise physiological function and associated pathways are yet to be determined.
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