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

The low density lipoprotein receptor gene family. Differential expression of two alpha2-macroglobulin receptors in the brain.

LR7/8B is a member of the low density lipoprotein receptor gene family that is specifically synthesized in the brain. Here we have functionally expressed in 293 cells the splice variant harboring eight ligand binding repeats (LR8B). As assessed by confocal microscopy, the expressed receptor is localized to the plasma membrane. Importantly, in cell binding experiments, we demonstrate that this protein is a receptor for activated alpha2-macroglobulin. Because to date low density lipoprotein receptor-related protein ( LRP) has been shown to be the only alpha2-macroglobulin receptor in brain, we became interested in the expression pattern of both proteins at the cellular level in the brain. LR7/8B is expressed in large neurons and Purkinje cells of the cerebellum and in cells constituting brain barrier systems such as the epithelial cells of the choroid plexus, the arachnoidea, and the endothelium of penetrating blood vessels. Anti-LR7/8B antibody stains the plasma membrane, dendrites, and vesicular structures close to the cell membrane of neurons, especially of Purkinje cells. In contrast, LRP is present in patchy regions around large neurons and most prominently in the glomeruli of the stratum granulare of the cerebellum. This suggests that, contrary to LR7/8B, LRP is expressed in synaptic regions of the neurons; furthermore, there is a striking difference in the expression patterns of LR7/8B and LRP in the choroid plexus. Whereas LRP shows baso-lateral and apical localization in the epithelial cells, LR7/8B is restricted to the apical cell aspect facing the cerebrospinal fluid. Finally, these studies were extended to cultured primary rat neurons, where double immunofluorescence labeling with anti-LR7/8B and anti-microtubuli-associated protein 2 (MAP2) confirmed the somatodendritic expression of the receptor. Based upon these data, we propose that LR7/8B is involved in the clearance of alpha2-macroglobulin.proteinase complexes and/or of other substrates bound to alpha2-macroglobulin from the cerebrospinal fluid and from the surface of neurons.[1]


  1. The low density lipoprotein receptor gene family. Differential expression of two alpha2-macroglobulin receptors in the brain. Stockinger, W., Hengstschläger-Ottnad, E., Novak, S., Matus, A., Hüttinger, M., Bauer, J., Lassmann, H., Schneider, W.J., Nimpf, J. J. Biol. Chem. (1998) [Pubmed]
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