Structural relationship between α1-microglobulin from man, guinea-pig, rat and rabbit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Rabbit α1-microglobulin was purified from the urine of sodium-chromate-treated animals by the use of gel chromatography on Sephadex G-100 affinity chromatography on concanavalin-A - Sepharose and ion-exchange chromatography on DEAE-Sephadex. Rabbit α1-microglobulin had a molecular mass of 25.6 kDa on SDS/polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. α1-microglobulin has previously been purified from the urine of humans, guinea-pigs and rats by similar methods, and the molecular masses of the four homologues were compared by SDS/polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and gel chromatography in a denaturing medium. By these two methods the human homologue was 6 kDa and 3 kDa larger, respectively, than the other three proteins. Endoglycosidase F digestion of α1-microglobulin, followed by SDS/polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, revealed three protein bands in the human α1-microglobulin sample, and only two bands in guinea-pig, rat and rabbit α1-microglobulin, with a gap between each band of 2.6-2.9 kDa. The amino-terminal amino acid sequences of the four homologues were determined and between 72% and 81% homology was seen. The five amino-terminal amino acids present in the other species were missing in guinea-pig α1-microglobulin. Our results indicate that human α1-microglobulin is substituted with two N-linked oligosaccharides, while only one is attached to each of the other α1-microglobulins, and that the extra glycosylamine-linked oligosaccharide in the human protein is attached to asparagine in position 17. Finally it is shown that all four homologues inhibit antigen stimulation of human lymphocytes, a finding which is consistent with our previous suggestion that the N-linked oligosaccharides carry the immunosuppressive activity of α1-microglobulin.


External organisations
  • Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
  • Lund University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Cell and Molecular Biology


  • α1-microglobulin , animals
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-148
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Biochemistry
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 1988
Publication categoryResearch