The gene for pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF) was localized to chromosome 17 by the analysis of three independent somatic cell hybrid panels. Fluorescence in situ hybridization shows a specific hybridization signal at the terminal portion of the short arm of chromosome 17. PCR analysis of somatic cell hybrids containing specific regions of 17 was subsequently used to sublocalize PEDF to 17p13.1-pter. PEDF thus maps to a region containing a number of cancer-related loci and thus must be considered a candidate gene for these cancers. Preliminary studies with cultured human Y79 retinoblastoma cells indicate that expression of PEDF is associated with relatively undifferentiated, proliferating cells rather than their differentiated, slow-growing counterparts. This and the fact that the PEDF protein can act as a potent neurotrophic differentiating agent suggest that PEDF is linked to proliferative events that terminate in final phenotypic determination within specific cell lineages.
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