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The integrin family of adhesion receptors consists of several heterodimeric glycoproteins, each composed of one alpha and one beta subunit. Three different mammalian beta subunits, beta 1, beta 2, and beta 3, have been sequenced, but recent evidence suggests the existence of several others. Amplification of guinea pig airway epithelial cell cDNA with oligonucleotide primers designed to recognize consensus integrin beta subunit sequences led to the identification of a novel partial cDNA sequence. Clones containing portions of this sequence were used to screen cDNA libraries constructed from the human pancreatic carcinoma cell line FG-2 and identified a series of overlapping clones encoding the full-length sequence of the human homologue of this protein. This sequence of 788 amino acids is 43, 38, and 47% identical to the sequences of beta 1, beta 2, and beta 3, respectively. Features shared between this novel protein and the previously sequenced beta subunits include the positions of all 56 cysteine residues in the extracellular domain, the single putative transmembrane domain, and the short putative cytoplasmic domain. However, a unique 11-amino acid extension at the carboxyl terminus, not present in any of the other beta subunits, is suggestive of distinctive interactions with cytoplasmic components. Comparison of the human and guinea pig sequences reveals a high degree (94%) of cross-species conservation. Because this protein is clearly distinct from the two other recently described integrins beta 4 and beta 5, we propose to designate it beta 6.