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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1991 Apr 30;176(2):668-74.

Secretion of sphingolipid hydrolase activator precursor, prosaposin.

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  • 1Department of Neuropsychiatry, Ehime University School of Medicine, Japan.


Sphingolipid hydrolases are activated by activator proteins or saposins. The precursor protein has been expected from the studies on the cDNA for saposins. Here we demonstrate that prosaposin occurs in various kinds of human secretory fluids such as cerebrospinal fluid, semen, milk, pancreatic juice, and bile. However, mature type saposins were not detected in these fluids. In human milk the amount of prosaposin changed during the lactating period; it became high in concentration within a few days after delivery, decreased during the transitional milk lactating stage, and then increased again toward the mature milk lactating stage. Prosaposin was released from human platelets in response to stimulation by thrombin, but mature saposins were not. From the time course of the release of prosaposin induced by thrombin and from the fact that weak platelet agonists, ADP, epinephrine, and collagen, did not cause the release of prosaposin, prosaposin secretion from platelets seemed to be from lysosome like granules. We postulate that some prosaposin works as a precursor for saposins in the lysosomes and the other serves as an extracellular protein with other specific roles.

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