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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2000;923:59-67.

Secretory lipophilins: a tale of two species.

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Department of Medicine, UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California 90095, USA.


Secretory lipophilins are "lipid-loving" proteins that are major constituents of several mammalian secretions, including the prostatic fluid of rats and the tears of humans and rabbits. These proteins form covalent heterodimers that are stabilized by three intramolecular cystine disulfide bonds. The heterodimers, some of which are glycosylated, may undergo additional non-covalent assembly to form tetramers. The peptide components found in secretory lipophilins are from two subfamilies: lipophilins A/B and lipophilin C. The C subfamily members described in this report are three rabbit and one human lipophilin, plus human mammaglobin and the C3 subunit of rat prostatein. Human A/B and C lipophilins are expressed by many tissues and are especially prominent in endocrine-responsive organs. The gene for human lipophilin B resides at chromosome 10q22-23. This region harbors the PTEN/MMAC1 gene and is believed to contain additional tumor suppressor genes. Although the functions of secretory lipophilins are imperfectly understood, their abundance in glandular secretions and in hormone-responsive tissues suggests that they deserve considerably more attention than they have received to date.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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