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Neuroscience. 2006;139(3):1031-8. Epub 2006 Mar 23.

Characterization of the putative cholesterol transport protein metastatic lymph node 64 in the brain.

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  • 1Scott Department of Urology, Room N730, Baylor College of Medicine, One Baylor Plaza, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


Intracellular management of cholesterol is a critical process in the brain. Deficits with cholesterol transport and storage are linked to neurodegenerative disorders such as Neimann-Pick disease type C and Alzheimer's disease. One protein putatively involved in cholesterol transport is metastatic lymph node 64 (MLN64). MLN64 localizes to late endosomes which are part of the cholesterol internalization pathway. However, a detailed pattern of MLN64 expression in the brain is unclear. Using immunocytochemical and immunoblot analyses, we demonstrated the presence of MLN64 in several tissue types and various regions within the brain. MLN64 immunostaining in the CNS was heterogeneous, indicating selective expression in discrete specific cell populations and regions. MLN64 immunoreactivity was detected in glia and neurons, which displayed intracellular labeling consistent with an endosomal localization. Although previous studies suggested that MLN64 may promote steroid production in the brain, MLN64 immunoreactivity did not colocalize with steroidogenic cells in the CNS. These results demonstrate that MLN64 is produced in the mouse and human CNS in a restricted pattern of expression, suggesting that MLN64 serves a cell-specific function in cholesterol transport.

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