About LTF / Lactoferrin:
Lactoferrin – also known as LFT – is a multifunctional protein related to the transferrin group. Here, we’re going to quickly run through the basics of LFT, such as the mechanisms, functions, and structure.
LFT is a part of the innate immune system. Its main function is the binding and transport of iron ions. It has functions relating to antiviral, antibacterial, antiparasitic, catalytic, anti-cancer, and anti-allergic properties.
It’s an 80-kDa, iron-binding glycoprotein present in milk and fluids such as bile and tears. It consists of a single-chain polypeptide with two globular lobes. Within humans, it is located on the third chromosome in the locus 3q21-q23. Exons of the Lactoferrin gene have a similar size to the exons of other genes of the transferrin family – sizes of introns differ within the family, though. There is a hint of evolutionary development within Lactoferrin due to the similarity in the size of exons and their distribution in the domains of the protein molecule.
LTF Mechanisms and Interactions
The primary role of Lactoferrin is to sequester free iron. When doing this, it will remove the essential substrate required for bacterial growth. While Lactoferrin has other antibacterial mechanisms that aren’t related to iron, the interaction with the outer bacterial membrane is the most dominant and most studied.