The protein proved to be an unusual member of the intermediate filament family, containing an α-helical region homologous to that found in keratin and neurofilament subunits. The Human Genome Organization (HUGO) Gene Nomenclature Committee (HGNC) name for Nestin is NES.
Nestin is relatively poorly conserved in protein sequence across species boundaries, so that the mouse and human proteins have an overall identity of only 62%. As a result antibodies to the human protein often fail to recognize the rodent homologue and vice versa. Antibodies to nestin are widely used to identify neural stem cells. This antibody was raised in rabbit against recombinant human nestin from aa 315-630, which has only 55% identity to homologous mouse sequence. Nestin (RA22125) therefore recognizes nestin protein in human, but not in rodent.
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