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Miquel, Juan Francisco; Ritter, Christoph von; Del Pozo, Reginals; Lange, Volker; Jüngst, Dieter and Paumgartner, Gustav (1994): Fibronectin in human gallbladder bile: cholesterol pronucleating and/or mucin "link" protein? In: American journal of physiology, Vol. 267, No. 3: pp. 393-400 [PDF, 3MB]

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Some biliary proteins (pronucleators) seem to be essential factors for cholesterol crystal formation and crystal growth in bile. A recent study suggests that fibronectin is such a pronucleator in bile. Fibronectin also seems to closely interact with intestinal mucin. Since biliary mucin plays an important role in gallstone formation, such an interaction in bile may be of relevance in cholesterol gallstone formation. To more clearly elucidate the role of fibronectin in cholesterol gallstone disease, we measured the concentration of fibronectin in native bile of cholesterol gallstone patients and checked its influence on the cholesterol nucleation time of model bile. We further looked for a molecular interaction between biliary fibronectin and gallbladder mucin. We found that fibronectin is present in gallbladder bile of gallstone patients in low concentrations (2.6 +/- 1.2 micrograms/ml). Bile fibronectin did not interact with gallbladder mucin. Moreover, in a wide range of concentrations fibronectin had no influence on the nucleation time of model bile. We conclude that fibronectin does not seem to play a major role in cholesterol gallstone disease.

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