Lactoferrin is a secreted protein related to transferrin. Lactoferrin indirectly protects host cells against foreign insults by killing bacteria, scavenging free iron, and binding to receptors required for viral invasion. However, lactoferrin is also proposed to act directly on cells as a transcription factor and tumor suppressor gene. In addition to full length lactoferrin, a truncated form, called delta lactoferrin, can also be produced by alternative splicing. We show here that transformed and nontransformed cells are equally able to express both full length and delta lactoferrin. Moreover, both forms of lactoferrin failed to substantially modulate the expression of other genes. Thus, lactoferrin does not seem to directly control gene expression or inhibit tumor cell growth.
Keywords: lactoferrin, glycoprotein, expression, tumor, transcripts
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