Urine contains several macromolecules that inhibit calcium oxalate (CaOx) crystallization. Among them is bikunin, the light chain of most of the inter-α-inhibitor (IαI) family of glycoproteins. This study aimed to verify whether bikunin and other members of the IαI family are synthesized in the kidneys or derived exclusively from the plasma. Proteins extracted from homogenized bovine kidney were applied successively to three chromatographic steps on DEAE-Sephacel, Sephacryl S-300, and Mono Q column. The inhibitory activity was assayed using a CaOx crystallization system. The presence of IαI-related proteins was determined by electrophoresis and Western blotting. The results showed that kidney extract contained a 125-kDa protein that cross-reacted with anti-IαI antibodies. This protein inhibited CaOx crystallization efficiently. According to its molecular weight and immunoreaction with anti-IαI antibody, the 125-kDa protein could be pre-α- inhibitor. The latter is known to encompass a heavy chain and bikunin, which may explain its inhibitory activity against CaOx crystallization. Consequently, we hypothesize that kidneys may produce some IαI-related proteins that are involved in the inhibition of stone formation.
- Bovine kidney
- Calcium oxalate crystallization
- Inter-α- inhibitor
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