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J Histochem Cytochem. 1994 Apr;42(4):531-42.

Organ distribution in rats of two members of the low-density lipoprotein receptor gene family, gp330 and LRP/alpha 2MR, and the receptor-associated protein (RAP).

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Department of Pathology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston.


We investigated immunohistochemically the distribution in rats of the homologous proteins gp330 and the LDL receptor-related protein (LRP/alpha 2MR), and a receptor-associated protein (RAP), and the sites to which soluble exogenous RAP binds. We found gp330 in a restricted group of epithelial cells, including renal proximal tubule cells, podocytes, Type II pneumocytes, cells of the parathyroid, thyroid, epididymis, lining of the uterus, ependyma, retina, ciliary body, yolk sac, and placenta. In these cells gp330 was detected mainly at the cell surface, except for parathyroid and retinal epithelial cells, where diffuse cell staining was found. LRP/alpha 2MR was widely distributed in interstitial cells, notably in fibroblasts and macrophages, and was also present in a selected group of epithelial or specialized cells, including hepatocytes, adrenal cortical cells, follicular cells of the ovary, cells of the choroid plexus, ciliary body, mesangial cells, and some neurons. In certain cells, notably hepatocytes and adrenal cortical cells, LRP/alpha 2MR was detected mainly on the surface, but in others, including macrophages, fibroblasts, and epithelial cells of the choroid plexus and ciliary body, staining throughout the cell was seen. The only cells that clearly expressed both LRP/alpha 2MR and gp330 were retinal and ciliary epithelial cells. RAP was found in intracellular vesicles in all cells that expressed gp330 or LRP/alpha 2MR. RAP was not definitely detected on the cell surface. Binding sites for RAP were found on the surface of those cells with surface gp330 or LRP, and also throughout the cytoplasm in cells with diffuse cellular LRP/alpha 2MR or gp330. Because of their different locations, we conclude that gp330 and LRP/alpha 2MR serve distinct functions in vivo, despite similarities in ligand-binding properties observed in vitro. Since RAP is found largely within cells, its major physiological function may be concerned with intracellular assembly or trafficking of the receptors to which it binds.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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