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J Biol Chem. 1990 Dec 5;265(34):20784-9.

Uromodulin (Tamm-Horsfall glycoprotein/uromucoid) is a phosphatidylinositol-linked membrane protein.

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  • 1Department of Cell Biology, New York University Medical Center, New York 10016.

Abstract

Uromodulin, originally identified as an immunosuppressive glycoprotein in the urine of pregnant women, has been previously shown to be identical to human Tamm-Horsfall glycoprotein (THP). THP is synthesized by the kidney and localizes to the renal thick ascending limb and early distal tubule. It is released into the urine in large quantities and thus represents a potential candidate for a protein secreted in a polarized fashion from the apical plasma membrane of epithelial cells in vivo. After introduction of the full-length cDNA encoding uromodulin/THP into HeLa, Caco-2, and Madin-Darby canine kidney cells by transfection, however, the expressed glycoprotein was almost exclusively cell-associated, as determined by immunoprecipitation after radioactive labeling of the cells. By immunofluorescence, THP was localized to the plasma membranes of transfected cells. In transfected cell extracts, THP also remained primarily in the detergent phase in a Triton X-114 partitioning assay, indicating that it has a hydrophobic character, in contrast to its behavior after isolation from human urine. Triton X-114 detergent-associated THP was redistributed to the aqueous phase after treatment of cell extracts with phosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipase C. Treatment of intact transfected HeLa cells with phosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipase C also resulted in the release of THP into the medium, suggesting that it is a glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-linked membrane protein. Similar to other known GPI-linked proteins, uromodulin/THP contains a stretch of 16 hydrophobic amino acids at its extreme carboxyl terminus which could function as a GPI addition signal and was shown to label with [3H]ethanolamine. The results indicate that THP is a member of this class of lipid-linked membrane proteins and is released into the urine after the loss of its hydrophobic anchor, probably by the action of a phospholipase or protease.

PMID:
2249987
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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