LPS binding protein (LBP) is a glycoprotein present in normal serum that becomes markedly elevated during acute phase responses. LBP has been reported to greatly potentiate host responses to endotoxin or LPS. Therefore, LBP may play a critical role in the body's response to injury and infection. Little is known about the factors regulating production of LBP. To investigate the regulation of LBP expression, we have cloned the full-length cDNA for rat LBP. The deduced amino acid sequence of rat LBP was highly homologous with that reported for rabbit and human LBP. The sequence of rat LBP further refines the conserved regions found within the family of proteins that bind LPS; this family is comprised of bactericidal permeability-increasing protein and LBP from multiple species. Use of the rat LBP cDNA clone for Northern blot analysis reveals that LBP mRNA levels are markedly up-regulated in liver during acute phase responses. However, in contrast to previous reports, we also find evidence of extrahepatic expression of LBP under these induced conditions. The presence of LBP mRNA in activated tissues other than liver suggests that LBP may play a larger role in local tissue responses to LPS than previously appreciated.

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