Clusterin in the male reproductive system: localization and possible function
Griswold, Michael D.
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Clusterin is a glycoprotein that was initially isolated from the male reproductive system. Subsequently, clusterin has been found to be widely distributed in a variety of tissues in mammals. One characteristic of the expression of clusterin is that it is induced as a result of cellular injury, death, or pathology. Despite the efforts of many laboratories working in diverse biological systems, the function of clusterin remains unknown. Recent studies have revealed a 'heat-shock element' in the promoter of the gene that may account for the inducible nature of the clusterin gene. Overall, the evidence suggests that function of clusterin is to protect surviving cells after damage. This protection may result from a detergent-like action of the protein.