Calcium-dependent polymerization of lactoferrin

Robert M. Bennett, Grover C. Bagby, Julianne Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Lactoferrin is known to have a molecular weight of approximately 77,000. In this study, we show that it undergoes polymerization in calcium-containing fluids and that the predominant species is a tetramer. Preliminary evidence is presented to indicate that the tetramer is also found in human serum, tears and breast milk. When the lactoferrin monomer and the tetramer were tested for biological activity in a system that is known to be highly sensitive to an inhibitory effect of lactoferrin - the production of granulocyte monocyte colony-stimulating activity - it was found that only the monomeric form of lactoferrin was inhibitory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)88-95
Number of pages8
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 16 1981

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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