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

Bovine lactoferrin binds to insulin-like growth factor-binding protein-3.

Insulin-like growth factor (IGF)- binding protein-3 ( IGFBP-3) has been shown to have IGF independent actions that appear to be mediated by specific IGFBP-3 binding proteins located on cell membranes. We show here using Western ligand blotting, a number of mammary membrane proteins that bind 125I-labeled rhIGFBP-3. Immunoprecipitation studies demonstrated that the >70 kDa protein was identified from bovine mammary microsomes as bovine lactoferrin (bLf). In addition to being a secretory protein, Lf is tightly associated with cellular membranes. Labeled rhIGFBP-3 was shown to bind to commercially purchased and processed apo- or holo-human or bLf, but not bovine transferrin (bTf). Binding of [125I]rhIGFBP-3 to other positively charged proteins was not detected nor was binding to rhIGFBP-5 or other mammary-secreted IGFBPs observed. Reciprocal specific binding of [125I]bLf to rhIGFBP-3 was shown, but [125I]bTf did not show binding to rhIGFBP-3. While [125I]rhIGF-II does not bind to bLf, unlabeled rhIGF-II was shown to compete with [125I]bLf for rhIGFBP-3 binding. More detailed analysis by dot blot showed that Lf competes (ED(50)=3 microg/ml) or displaces (ED(50)=1mg/ml) bound [125I]rhIGF-II from dot blotted rhIGFBP-3. In vitro studies with a bovine primary mammary epithelial cell culture showed that all-trans-retinoic acid stimulates the appearance of bovine IGFBP-3 and bLf in the conditioned media and that [125I]rhIGFBP-3 could be utilized to detect conditioned media bLf. These findings reveal a novel role for bLf, binding to IGFBP-3 and perhaps disassociating IGFBP-3:IGF when in high concentration.[1]


  1. Bovine lactoferrin binds to insulin-like growth factor-binding protein-3. Baumrucker, C.R., Gibson, C.A., Schanbacher, F.L. Domest. Anim. Endocrinol. (2003) [Pubmed]
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