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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Molecular characterization of a human scavenger receptor, human MARCO.

Murine MARCO has been identified recently in subsets of macrophages located in the peritoneum, marginal zone of the spleen, and the medullary cord of lymph nodes, where it has been proposed that it serves as a bacteria-binding receptor. A scavenger receptor family member with an extended collagenous domain, murine MARCO has also been demonstrated in atherosclerotic lesions of susceptible mice. We report here the identification, tissue and chromosomal localization, and pharmacological characterization of human (h)MARCO. hMARCO was identified from a macrophage cDNA library by electronic screening with the murine MARCO sequence. Nucleotide sequence analysis confirmed that the full-length hMARCO clone encoded a 519-amino acid protein sharing 68.5% identity with murine MARCO. RNA blot analysis indicated that the hMARCO transcript is 2.0 kb in length and is predominantly expressed in human lung, liver, and lymph nodes. Radiation hybrid mapping localized hMARCO to chromosome 2q14. Ligand-binding studies of COS cells expressing hMARCO demonstrated significant specific binding of both Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus. In contrast, the hMARCO receptor expressed in COS cells did not specifically bind the scavenger receptor ligand acetylated low-density lipoprotein (LDL), despite its similarity to the elongated collagen-like binding domain of the macrophage scavenger receptor. In addition, acetylated (Ac)LDL and oxidized (Ox)LDL did not inhibit E. coli binding to hMARCO. These data suggest that hMARCO may play an important role in host defense, but it has no obvious role in the accumulation of modified lipoproteins during atherogenesis.[1]


  1. Molecular characterization of a human scavenger receptor, human MARCO. Elshourbagy, N.A., Li, X., Terrett, J., Vanhorn, S., Gross, M.S., Adamou, J.E., Anderson, K.M., Webb, C.L., Lysko, P.G. Eur. J. Biochem. (2000) [Pubmed]
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