Clusterin also named Apolipoprotein J (APO-J) is a 75-80 kD disulfide-linked heterodimeric protein containing about 30% of N-linked carbohydrate rich in sialic acid but truncated forms targeted to the nucleus have also been identified.
The precursor polypeptide chain is cleaved proteolytically to remove the 22-mer secretory signal peptide and subsequently between residues 227/228 to generate the a and b chains. These are assembled in anti-parallel to give a heterodimeric molecule in which the cysteine-rich centers are linked by five disulfide bridges and are flanked by two predicted coiled-coil a-helices and three predicted amphipathic a-helices.
Across a broad range of species clusterin shows a high degree of sequence homology ranging from 70% to 80%. It is nearly ubiquitously expressed in most mammalian tissues and can be found in plasma, milk, urine, cerebrospinal fluid and semen.
It is able to bind and form complexes with numerous partners such as immunoglobulins, lipids, bacteria, complement components, paraoxonase, beta amyloid, leptin and others. Clusterin has been ascribed a plethora of functions such as phagocyte recruitment, aggregation induction, complement attack prevention, apoptosis inhibition, membrane remodeling, lipid transport, hormone transport and/or scavenging, matrix metalloproteinase inhibition.
A genuine function of clusterin has not been defined. One tempting hypothesis says that clusterin is an extracellular chaperone protecting cells from stress induced insults caused by degraded and misfolded protein precipitates.
Clusterin is up- or down regulated on the mRNA or protein level in many pathological and clinically relevant situations including cancer, organ regeneration, infection, Alzheimer disease, retinitis pigmentosa, myocardial infarction, renal tubular damage, autoimmunity and others.
Clusterin (1-427 a.a.) is fused to 11 a.a. flag tag at c-terminal and purified by proprietary chromatographic techniques.
Amino acid sequence
1. Tiltle: Clusterin Facilitates Exchange of Glycosyl Phosphatidylinositol-Linked SPAM1 Between Reproductive Luminal Fluids and Mouse and Human Sperm Membranes1.
Publication:BIOLOGY OF REPRODUCTION 81, 562–570 (2009) Published online before print 8 April 2009. DOI 10.1095/biolreprod.108.075739
2. Tiltle: Mass spectrometry quantification of clusterin in the human brain.
Publication:2012 Chen et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the CreativeCommons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.