Distribution of cystinosin-LKG in human tissues

Anna Taranta, Stefania Petrini, Arianna Citti, Renata Boldrini, Serena Corallini, Francesco Bellomo, Elena Levtchenko, Francesco Emma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Nephropathic cystinosis is multisystemic progressive disorder caused by mutations of CTNS gene that encodes for the lysosomal cystine co-transporter cystinosin, and for a less abundant isoform termed cystinosin-LKG, which is expressed in not only lysosomes but also other cell compartments. To overcome the absence of highquality antibodies against cystinosin, we have obtained a rabbit antiserum against cystinosin-LKG and have analyzed in human tissues the expression of the two known cystinosin isoforms by RT-PCR, and the expression of cystinosin-LKG by immunohistochemistry. In most tissues, CTNS-LKG represents 5-20 % of CTNS transcripts, with the exception of the testis that expresses both isoforms in equal proportions. Cystinosin-LKG was found to be highly expressed in renal tubular cells, pancreatic islets of Langerhans, Leydig cells of the testis, mucoserous glands of the bronchial wall, melanocytes and keratinocytes. These results are parallel with many features of cystinosis, such as early onset Fanconi syndrome, male infertility, diabetes mellitus and hypopigmentation. Intermediate expression levels were of the LKG isoform observed in the gastrointestinal tract and thyroid glands; low levels of expression were observed in the brain, skeletal and cardiac muscles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)351-363
Number of pages13
JournalHistochemistry and Cell Biology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012


  • Cystinosin-LKG
  • Cystinosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Histology
  • Medical Laboratory Technology
  • Molecular Biology


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