Immunohistochemical localisation of pterin-4alpha-carbinolamine dehydratase in rat peripheral organs

Histochem Cell Biol. 1999 May;111(5):381-90. doi: 10.1007/s004180050371.


The bifunctional protein PCD/DCoH is both a pterin-4alpha-carbinolamine dehydratase (PCD) involved in the recycling of tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4) and a dimerisation cofactor (DCoH) of the hepatic nuclear factor 1alpha (HNF-1alpha). An antiserum raised against rat PCD/DCoH was used to localise the protein in peripheral organs. In liver, all the hepatocytes but not the other cell types are immunoreactive. In kidney, the protein is prevalent in the proximal and distal convoluted tubules. In adrenals, all the cells of the medulla are labelled. Positive nerve cells occur in myenteric ganglia of the whole gastrointestinal tract and in the intestinal submucous ganglia. Many positive endocrine cells are present in the epithelium. The immunoreactivity is either cytoplasmic (hepatocytes, convoluted tubules of the kidney and part of the gastrointestinal endocrine cells) or prominently nuclear (kidney collecting tubules, adrenals, intestinal neural plexuses and part of the gastrointestinal endocrine cells). Our results show that PCD/DCoH is present in cells expressing enzymes that use BH4 as a cofactor and/or HNF-1alpha. In addition, PCD/DCoH is present in other cells, for example, neurons in the submucosal plexus. This fact and the prominent nuclear immunoreactivity found in all the positive cells derived from the neural crests argue in favour of a new, still unknown function for the protein.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex / enzymology
  • Adrenal Cortex / ultrastructure
  • Animals
  • Antibody Specificity
  • Digestive System / enzymology
  • Digestive System / ultrastructure
  • Female
  • Gastric Fundus / enzymology
  • Gastric Fundus / ultrastructure
  • Humans
  • Hydro-Lyases / analysis*
  • Kidney / enzymology
  • Kidney / ultrastructure
  • Liver / enzymology
  • Liver / ultrastructure
  • Rabbits
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Tissue Distribution


  • Hydro-Lyases
  • pterin-4a-carbinolamine dehydratase