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J Leukoc Biol. 2000 Jan;67(1):104-8.

Surface expression and rapid internalization of macrosialin (mouse CD68) on elicited mouse peritoneal macrophages.

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Department of Medicine, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla 92093-0682, USA.


Macrosialin, the mouse homolog of human CD68, is a heavily glycosylated transmembrane protein found almost exclusively in macrophages. Its function remains uncertain. It has a high affinity for oxidized low-density lipoprotein (LDL) in ligand blots and antibodies against the human homolog, CD68, inhibit the binding of oxidized LDL to a human monocyte-derived cell line (THP-1). However, there is still controversy as to whether macrosialin, found predominantly in late endosomes, is expressed at all on the plasma membrane. The present studies, done in thioglycollate-elicited peritoneal macrophages, confirm that macrosialin is predominantly intracellular but show clearly that 10-15% of it is expressed on the cell surface. Exchange with intracellular pools occurs at an extremely high rate. The results are compatible with a surface function, including internalization of bound ligands or adhesion to surfaces.

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