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Am J Physiol. 1996 Dec;271(6 Pt 1):G993-1002.

HIP/PAP is an adhesive protein expressed in hepatocarcinoma, normal Paneth, and pancreatic cells.

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Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale Unité 370, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Necker, Paris, France.


Human hepatocarcinoma-intestine-pancreas (HIP) cDNA, isolated from a hepatocellular carcinoma, encodes a C-type lectin. According to published cDNA sequences, HIP protein is identical to human pancreatitis-associated protein (PAP). In these sequences, a putative signal peptide and the carbohydrate recognition domain (CRD) can be recognized. In the present study, we established transgenic mice to drive the production of soluble recombinant HIP/PAP protein in the milk of lactating animals; using this model, we showed that HIP/PAP protein was secreted after suitable cleavage of the potential signal peptide. Moreover, we also produced HIP/PAP protein by Escherichia coli cultures performed to generate specific antibodies. These antibodies enabled the detection of HIP/PAP protein in normal intestine and pancreas (both in endocrine and exocrine cells), e.g., intestinal neuroendocrine and Paneth cells, pancreatic islets of Langerhans, and acinar cells. HIP/PAP protein was also identified in the cytoplasm of tumoral hepatocytes but not in nontumoral hepatocytes. Finally, HIP/PAP protein activity was tested and we showed that HIP/PAP induced the adhesion of rat hepatocytes and bound strongly to extracellular matrix proteins (laminin-1, fibronectin), less strongly to type I and IV collagen, and not at all to heparan sulfate proteoglycan. In conclusion, these results showed that HIP/PAP protein was matured on secretion. We also demonstrated that HIP/PAP protein was specifically expressed in hepatocarcinoma cells and interacted with rat hepatocytes and the extracellular matrix. Taken overall, these results suggest that HIP/PAP protein may be of potential importance to liver cell differentiation/proliferation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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