Thursday, September 18, 2008

Protein of the Day #6: CD36/Fatty acid translocase

CD36 is a great example of the complexity of biology.

After some modification, it is the same thing as "platelet glycoprotein IV", an important protein in platelets and clotting - thrombospondin binds to it. Its also important in malaria, since Plasmodium infected erythrocytes can bind to CD36, and mutations in it can result in varying severity of malaria.

But its also "fatty acid translocase" and its a receptor for low density lipoprotein (LDL). Its been associated with a number of effects on the immune system, reaction to hyperglycemia, and oxidant stress.

Both these roles make it interesing in the context of mammalian hibernation, where the clotting reactions must be suppressed and metabolism switched to using ketone bodies derived from lipid stores.

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