Send to

Choose Destination
Eur J Biochem. 2002 Feb;269(4):1209-18.

Secretion of a peripheral membrane protein, MFG-E8, as a complex with membrane vesicles.

Author information

Graduate School of Bioagricultural Sciences, Nagoya University, Nagoya, Japan.


MFG-E8 (milk fat globule-EGF factor 8) is a peripheral membrane glycoprotein, which is expressed abundantly in lactating mammary glands and is secreted in association with fat globules. This protein consists of two-repeated EGF-like domains, a mucin-like domain and two-repeated discoidin-like domains (C-domains), and contains an integrin-binding motif (RGD sequence) in the EGF-like domain. To clarify the role of each domain on the peripheral association with the cell membrane, several domain-deletion mutants of MFG-E8 were expressed in COS-7 cells. The immunofluorescent staining of intracellular and cell-surface proteins and biochemical analyses of cell-surface-biotinylated and secreted proteins demonstrated that both of the two C-domains were required for the membrane association. During the course of these studies for domain functions, MFG-E8, but not C-domain deletion mutants, was shown to be secreted as membrane vesicle complexes. By size-exclusion chromatography and ultracentrifugation analyses, the complexes were characterized to have a high-molecular mass, low density and higher sedimentation velocity and to be detergent-sensitive. Not only such a exogenously expressed MFG-E8 but also that endogenously expressed in a mammary epithelial cell line, COMMA-1D, was secreted as the membrane vesicle-like complex. Scanning electron microscopic analyses revealed that MFG-E8 was secreted into the culture medium in association with small membrane vesicles with a size from 100 to 200 nm in diameter. Furthermore, the expression of MFG-E8 increased the number of these membrane vesicle secreted into the culture medium. These results suggest a possible role of MFG-E8 in the membrane vesicle secretion, such as budding or shedding of plasma membrane (microvesicles) and exocytosis of endocytic multivesicular bodies (exosomes).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center