Fetuins are serum proteins with diverse functions including the regulation of osteogenesis and inhibition of unwanted mineralization. Besides the α2-Heremans and Schmid glycoprotein/fetuin-A, the recently identified fetuin-B is a second member of the fetuin family [Olivier, Soury, Risler, Smih, Schneider, Lochner, Jouzeau, Fey and Salier (1999) Genomics 57, 352–364; Olivier, Soury, Ruminy, Husson, Parmentier, Daveau and Salier (2000) Biochem. J. 350, 589–597], which belongs to the cystatin superfamily. We compared the expressions of fetuin-B and fetuin-A at the RNA level and established that both genes are most highly expressed in liver tissue. Like fetuin-A, fetuin-B mRNA is also highly expressed in tongue and placenta tissues. We demonstrated for the first time that fetuin-B is also expressed at the protein level in sera and several organs of mouse, rat and human. We isolated contiguous genomic clones containing both fetuin-B and fetuin-A genes, indicating that these genes are closely linked at the genome level. The close proximity of both these genes may explain our observation that fetuin-B expression was decreased in fetuin-A-deficient mice. Unlike fetuin-A, the amount of fetuin-B protein in human serum varied with gender and was higher in females than in males. Functional analysis revealed that fetuin-B, similarly to fetuin-A, is an inhibitor of basic calcium phosphate precipitation, albeit less active when compared with fetuin-A. Therefore fetuin-B may have a function that is partly overlapping, if not identical, with the function of fetuin-A.
Tissue distribution and activity testing suggest a similar but not identical function of fetuin-B and fetuin-A
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Bernd DENECKE, Steffen GRÄBER, Cora SCHÄFER, Alexander HEISS, Michael WÖLTJE, Willi JAHNEN-DECHENT; Tissue distribution and activity testing suggest a similar but not identical function of fetuin-B and fetuin-A. Biochem J 15 November 2003; 376 (1): 135–145. doi: https://doi.org/10.1042/bj20030676
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