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Biological Research

Print version ISSN 0716-9760

Abstract

MARZOLO, María-Paz  and  FARFAN, Pamela. New Insights into the Roles of Megalin/LRP2 and the Regulation of its Functional Expression. Biol. Res. [online]. 2011, vol.44, n.1, pp.89-105. ISSN 0716-9760.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0716-97602011000100012.

Since the discovery of the low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) and its association with familial hypercholesterolemia in the early 1980s, a family of structurally related proteins has been discovered that has apolipoprotein E as a common ligand, and the broad functions of its members have been described. LRP2, or megalin, is a member of the LDLR family and was initially called gp330. Megalin is an endocytic receptor expressed on the apical surface of several epithelial cells that internalizes a variety of ligands including nutrients, hormones and their carrier proteins, signaling molecules, morphogens, and extracellular matrix proteins. Once internalized, these ligands are directed to the lysosomal degradation pathway or transported by transcytosis from one side of the cell to the opposite membrane. The availability of megalin at the cell surface is controlled by several regulatory mechanisms, including the phosphorylation of its cytoplasmic domain by GSK3, the proteolysis of the extracellular domain at the cell surface (shedding), the subsequent intramembrane proteolysis of the transmembrane domain by the gamma-secretase complex, and exosome secretion. Based on the important roles of its ligands and its tissue expression pattern, megalin has been recognized as an important component of many pathological conditions, including diabetic nephropathy, Lowe syndrome, Dent disease, Alzheimer's disease (AD) and gallstone disease. In addition, the expression of megalin and some of its ligands in the central and peripheral nervous system suggests a role for this receptor in neural regeneration processes. Despite its obvious importance, the regulation of megalin expression is poorly understood. In this review, we describe the functions of megalin and its association with certain pathological conditions as well as the current understanding of the mechanisms that underlie the control of megalin expression.

Keywords : Alzheimer's Disease; cubilin; diabetic nephropathy; FXR; gallstone disease; GSK3; Lowe syndrome; megalin; PPAR; RAP; regeneration.

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