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

Isotransferrins and pregnancy: a study in the guinea pig.

During pregnancy the serum isotransferrin pattern changes towards transferrins with more complex carbohydrate chains. The main pregnancy-related isotransferrin (TfFast) and the most common isotransferrin in the non-pregnant guinea pig (TfSlow) were isolated and characterized. TfSlow had one biantennary- and TfFast one triantennary glycan chain. Is there a functional explanation for this pregnancy-related shift towards more complex glycan chain structure? We studied this question in the context of maternal and fetal erythropoiesis. In vitro incubations of maternal bone marrow cells (MBMC) and fetal erythroid liver cells (FELC) with doubly labelled TfSlow and TfFast revealed only slight differences in affinities for the transferrin receptor. Ka(TfSlow) = 0.17 mumol/l; Ka(TfFast) = 0.15 mumol/l. MBMC and FELC had equal Vmax values both for TfSlow and TfFast. Vmax = 100 Fe atoms/transferrin receptor.hour. Irrespective the cell population TfSlow and TfFast showed equal rates for endo- and exocytosis. kendo. = 0.3750 min-1, kexo. = 0.1450 min-1. It is concluded that the described shift in isotransferrin pattern is not functionally related to maternal or fetal erythropoiesis.[1]


  1. Isotransferrins and pregnancy: a study in the guinea pig. van Dijk, J.P., van Noort, W.L., Kroos, M.J., Starreveld, J.S., van Eijk, H.G. Clin. Chim. Acta (1991) [Pubmed]
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