Molecular cloning of a novel lipocalin-1 interacting human cell membrane receptor using phage display

J Biol Chem. 2001 Jun 8;276(23):20206-12. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M101762200. Epub 2001 Apr 3.


Human lipocalin-1 (Lcn-1, also called tear lipocalin), a member of the lipocalin structural superfamily, is produced by a number of glands and tissues and is known to bind an unusually large array of hydrophobic ligands. Apart from its specific function in stabilizing the lipid film of human tear fluid, it is suggested to act as a physiological scavenger of potentially harmful lipophilic compounds, in general. To characterize proteins involved in the reception, detoxification, or degradation of these ligands, a cDNA phage-display library from human pituitary gland was constructed and screened for proteins interacting with Lcn-1. Using this method an Lcn-1 interacting phage was isolated that expressed a novel human protein. Molecular cloning and analysis of the entire cDNA indicated that it encodes a 55-kDa protein, lipocalin-1 interacting membrane receptor (LIMR), with nine putative transmembrane domains. The cell membrane location of this protein was confirmed by immunocytochemistry and Western blot analysis of membrane fractions of human NT2 cells. Independent biochemical investigations using a recombinant N-terminal fragment of LIMR also demonstrated a specific interaction with Lcn-1 in vitro. Based on these data, we suggest LIMR to be a receptor of Lcn-1 ligands. These findings constitute the first report of cloning of a lipocalin interacting, plasma membrane-located receptor, in general. In addition, a sequence comparison supports the biological relevance of this novel membrane protein, because genes with significant nucleotide sequence similarity are present in Takifugu rubripes, Drosophila melanogaster, Caenorhabditis elegans, Mus musculus, Bos taurus, and Sus scrofa. According to data derived from the human genome sequencing project, the LIMR-encoding gene has to be mapped on human chromosome 12, and its intron/exon organization could be established. The entire LIMR-encoding gene consists of about 13.7 kilobases in length and contains 16 introns with a length between 91 and 3438 base pairs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Bacteriophages / genetics*
  • Base Sequence
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Lipocalin 1
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / chemistry
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / genetics*
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / metabolism
  • Recombinant Proteins / chemistry
  • Recombinant Proteins / genetics
  • Recombinant Proteins / metabolism
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction


  • Carrier Proteins
  • DNA, Complementary
  • LCN1 protein, human
  • LMBR1L protein, human
  • Lipocalin 1
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Recombinant Proteins

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AF260728
  • GENBANK/AF351620