Localization of Endogenous β-Galactoside-Binding Lectin in Human Cells and Tissues
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A rabbit antiserum raised against the 14.5-kilodalton (kDa) subunit of human splenic galaptin was used to probe protein blots of several tissue extracts. For all tissues examined, the only immunoreactive species detected was a 14.5-kDa polypeptide. This antiserum and a rabbit antiserum raised against native lung galaptin were used in immunohistochemical assays to determine the localization of galaptin in selected tissues and cells. In normal colon, galaptin was found prominently in the basement membrane and in the stroma. The cytoplasm of epithelial cells stained lightly for galaptin whereas mucous granules and secreted mucin were uniformly negative for galaptin. Hemagglutination inhibition assays also failed to demonstrate an interaction between galaptin and mucin. Macrophages stained conspicuously for galaptin in colonic and cutaneous tissue as did some capillary walls. In cutaneous tissue, the extracellular matrix and hair follicle cells contained abundant galaptin. Galaptin was absent in basal cell carcinoma and associated stroma. Galaptin was found throughout the cytoplasm of carcinoma cells of gynecologic origin present in effusions. Protein blot analysis of extracts of extracellular matrix synthesized in vitro by endothelial cells confirmed the presence of galaptin in matrix. The results show that: (1) galaptin is variably expressed by different cells and tissues; (2) its cellular location is not restricted to the cell surface; (3) galaptin is not associated with normal mucin; (4) the extracellular matrix is a major site of galaptin deposition, and (5) some malignant tissue may be characterized by a deficiency of galaptin.
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