Author(s): Daniel R, He Z, Carmichael KP, Halper J, Bateman A
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Abstract Granulins, also called epithelins, are 6-kD peptides with growth modulatory effects on a variety of cells. The granulin/epithelin precursor supports tumorigenesis in appropriate cell models and is the only growth factor able to overcome the cell cycle block that occurs in murine fibroblasts after deletion of a functional IGF-1 receptor. However, little is known of the role of granulin/epithelin gene products in vivo. To understand the physiological role of granulins it is essential to know the cell types and conditions in which it is expressed. We examined granulin/epithelin gene expression in adult rodents by in situ hybridization. The granulin/epithelin precursor is constitutively expressed in a number of epithelia, particularly in the skin, GI tract, and reproductive system. Other epithelia express the gene less strongly. Progranulin is expressed in immune cells in vivo and in specific neurons in the brain, including Purkinje cells, pyramidal cells of the hippocampus, and some cerebral cortical neurons. Little expression was detected in muscle cell, connective tissue, or endothelium. Cumulatively, these results define the basal gene expression of a new growth factor system and suggest that the progranulin/epithelin gene is multifunctional, with important constitutive roles in epithelial homeostasis, reproductive, immunological, and neuronal function.
This article was published in J Histochem Cytochem
and referenced in Journal of Cytology & Histology