THE MOLECULAR COMPONENTS OF HUMAN TRANSFERRIN TYPE C Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Immunologically pure human transferrin type C (TfC) was isolated from the plasmas of 11 individual healthy donors. After conversion into the 2Fe-form, the preparations were analysed by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and chromatography on DEAE-cellulose. In all samples studied by either method the presence of three components, designated A, B and C, was observed. Calculations from eight chromatograms yielded the following relative proportions for the components: A:6%, B:62% and C:32%. The quantity of iron bound played no role in this chromatographic resolution. The components were immunologically identical but their sialic acid content increased inthe order of A less than B less than C. The presence of galactose as an ultimate residue of the oligosaccharide chains in TfC component A was confirmed by a biological test. This observation together with the results of earlier analyses for hexose, hexosamine and galactose in the subfractions from Behringwerke human transferrin, suggests that sialic acid is probably the only variable among TfC components A, B and C. Loss of sialic acid from component C during the isolation of TfC was excluded as an explanation for the presence of the other two components. The electrophoretic appearance of TfC samples from five patients with liver disease (chronic active hepatitis, cirrhosis or alcoholic liver) did not noticeably differ from that of TfC FROM HEALTHY PERSONS. Baboon transferrin resembles TfC with respect to sialic acid heterogeneity. This species was therefore studied to decide whether sialic acid is gradually lost from transferrin in the circulation or whether transferrin is not fully sialylated before discharge from the hepatocyte. Using DEAE-cellulose chromatography no difference was found between baboon transferrin molecules which were less than 6h old and those which had a mean age of 8.9 days. By inference it is suggested that the reason for the multiplicity of TfC is also likely to be biosynthetic.

publication date

  • 1977