Journal Article

From bowel to kidneys: the role of cubilin in physiology and disease

Erik I. Christensen, Rikke Nielsen and Henrik Birn

in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation

Published on behalf of European Renal Association - European Dialysis and Transplant Assoc

Volume 28, issue 2, pages 274-281
Published in print February 2013 | ISSN: 0931-0509
Published online January 2013 | e-ISSN: 1460-2385 | DOI:
From bowel to kidneys: the role of cubilin in physiology and disease

Show Summary Details


Cubilin is a large endocytic receptor serving such diverse functions as the intestinal absorption of the intrinsic factor–B12 complex and the renal proximal tubule reabsorption of filtered proteins including albumin, transferrin, vitamin D-binding protein and other important plasma carriers. Cubilin is a structurally unique, peripheral membrane protein, which depends on the membrane protein amnionless (AMN) for correct apical translocation. In addition, AMN appears important for efficient internalization of intrinsic factor–B12 in the intestine, whereas in the proximal tubule cubilin interacts with another endocytic receptor, megalin, for effective reabsorption. The importance of cubilin has been demonstrated in several animal models of cubilin deficiency as well as in a variety of human diseases. Recent demonstration of cubilin in podocytes from various species awaits further clarification with respect to the functional role as well as its role in pathology.

Keywords: albuminuria; Imerslund-Gräsbeck syndrome; low-molecular-weight proteinuria; vitamin B12; receptor-mediated endocytosis

Journal Article.  4735 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Nephrology

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