Hemopexin is a developmentally regulated, acute-phase plasma protein in the chicken

G. Grieninger, T. J. Liang, G. Beuving, V. Goldfarb, S. A. Metcalfe, U. Muller-Eberhard

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28 Scopus citations


Identity has been established between chicken hemopexin and α1-globulin 'M', a plasma protein known for the hormone responsiveness of its synthesis in monolayer cultures of embryonic chicken hepatocytes (Grieninger, G., Plant, P.W., Liang, T.J., Kalb, R.G., Amrani, D., Mosesson, M.W., Hertzberg, K.M., and Pindyk, J. (1983) Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci. 408, 469-489). Identification was based on immunological cross-reactivity, electrophoretic behavior on sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gels, heme-binding capacity, and pattern of cleavage by proteolytic enzymes. Electroimmunoassays were used to investigate plasma protein levels, particularly those of hemopexin, in the acute-phase response and embryonic development. Acute-phase plasma protein production, elicited by injection of chickens with turpentine, bore many similarities to the pattern of hepatocellular plasma protein synthesis produced in response to the addition of specific hormones in culture. The response of the stressed chickens included elevated levels of hemopexin and fibrinogen (5- and 2-fold, respectively) accompanied by a 50% drop in albumin. Hemopexin levels of developing chick embryos were measured for several days before and after hatching. Onset of hemopexin production occurred around the time of hatching, and was followed by a steep increase (more than 1000-fold over 4 days). Similarly, it was not until the 12th h of culture that hepatocytes isolated from both early and late stage chicken embryos began to produce hemopexin, although, from their initiation in culture, they secreted a number of other plasma proteins in quantity. After 12 h, hepatocellular output of hemopexin rapidly accelerated. This precocious induction ex vivo required no hormonal or macromolecular medium supplements. These observations indicate that the embryonic chicken hepatocyte culture system will provide a useful model for studying the regulation of hemopexin biosynthesis in hepatic development and the acute-phase response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15719-15724
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number33
StatePublished - 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry


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