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The complete cDNA sequence of human intestine-specific plastin (I-plastin) was determined from a clone derived by PCR. It consists of a 97-bp 5' untranslated region, a 1,887-bp coding region, and a 1,655-bp 3' untranslated region. The coding region predicts a 629-residue polypeptide whose sequence displays 86, 75, and 73% identities with chicken intestine fimbrin, human T-plastin, and human L-plastin, respectively. Recombinant I-plastin cross-linked actin filaments into bundles in the absence but not in the presence of calcium. The I-plastin gene was mapped by PCR to human chromosome 3; the L- and T-plastin genes were previously mapped to chromosomes 13 and X, respectively. I-plastin mRNA was detected in the small intestine, colon, and kidneys; relatively lower levels of expression were detected in the lungs and stomach. In contrast, L-plastin expression was restricted to the spleen and other lymph node-containing organs, while T-plastin was expressed in a variety of organs, including muscle, brain, uterus, and esophagus. In contrast to the situation for the intestine, high levels of L- and T-plastin mRNAs were detected in Caco-2, a human colon-derived cell line. Immunofluorescence microscopy detected I-plastin in the brush border of the small intestine and colon. These results identify I-plastin as the human homolog of chicken intestine fimbrin and as a third plastin isoform in humans.