Letter | Published:

Identification of the haemoglobin scavenger receptor

Nature volume 409, pages 198201 (11 January 2001) | Download Citation

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Abstract

Intravascular haemolysis is a physiological phenomenon as well as a severe pathological complication when accelerated in various autoimmune, infectious (such as malaria) and inherited (such as sickle cell disease) disorders1. Haemoglobin released into plasma is captured by the acute phase protein haptoglobin, which is depleted from plasma during elevated haemolysis1. Here we report the identification of the acute phase-regulated and signal-inducing macrophage protein, CD163, as a receptor that scavenges haemoglobin by mediating endocytosis of haptoglobin–haemoglobin complexes. CD163 binds only haptoglobin and haemoglobin in complex, which indicates the exposure of a receptor-binding neoepitope. The receptor–ligand interaction is Ca2+-dependent and of high affinity. Complexes of haemoglobin and multimeric haptoglobin (the 2-2 phenotype) exhibit higher functional affinity for CD163 than do complexes of haemoglobin and dimeric haptoglobin (the 1-1 phenotype). Specific CD163-mediated endocytosis of haptoglobin–haemoglobin complexes is measurable in cells transfected with CD163 complementary DNA and in CD163-expressing myelo-monocytic lymphoma cells.

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Acknowledgements

We thank K. Lassen and A.-M. Bundsgaard for technical assistance; K. Pulford for providing the SU-DHL-1 lymphoma cell line; and M. Sommerlund for inspiration.

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Author notes

    • Mette Kristiansen
    •  & Jonas H. Graversen

    These authors contributed equally to the work

Affiliations

  1. *Department of Medical Biochemistry, and

    • Mette Kristiansen
    • , Jonas H. Graversen
    • , Christian Jacobsen
    •  & Søren K. Moestrup
  2. ‡Department of Physiology, University of Aarhus, Ole Worms Alle, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark

    • Ole Sonne
  3. §Department of Respiratory Diseases, Aarhus University Hospital, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark

    • Hans-Jürgen Hoffman
  4. MRC Immunochemistry Unit, Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3QU, UK

    • S.K. Alex Law

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Correspondence to Søren K. Moestrup.

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https://doi.org/10.1038/35051594

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