|Transferrin in Mouse Thymus. Transferrin was detected in perfusion fixed frozen sections of mouse thymus using Goat Anti-Mouse Transferrin Antigen Affinity-purified Polyclonal Antibody (Catalog # AF3987) at 5 µg/mL overnight at 4 °C. Tissue was stained using the Anti-Goat HRP-DAB Cell & Tissue Staining Kit (brown; Catalog # CTS008) and counterstained with hematoxylin (blue). Specific staining was localized to the plasma membranes of lymphocytes. View our protocol for Chromogenic IHC Staining of Frozen Tissue Sections.|
Transferrin (also serotransferrin and siderophilin) is a secreted, monomeric 78-82 kDa glycoprotein member of the transferrin family of molecules. It is synthesized by hepatocytes and serves as a transport vehicle for ferric iron, as well as cobalt and manganese ions. When bound to iron, transferrin is referred to as holo-transferrin (Greek: holo - meaning whole or together). When it is absent iron, it is called apotransferrin (Greek: apo - meaning away or apart). Apotransferrin encounters and binds two ferric iron atoms at the basolateral surface of duodenal epithelium. Here, as holo-transferrin, it circulates and distributes iron to virtually all tissues by binding to transferrin receptor 1. Once bound, holo-transferrin is internalized, iron is released, and the resulting apotransferrin is recylced. Mature mouse apotransferrin is 678 amino acids (aa) in length. It is bilobar in shape, with 330 aa N- and C-terminal lobes that each bind one ferric atom. In the absence of iron, each lobe is "open"; when iron is present, the lobes close, forming a compact structure. Mature mouse apotransferrin is 72% and 88% aa identical to human and rat apotransferrin, respectively.