Lactoferrin, an iron-binding glycoprotein, kills bacteria and modulates inflammatory and immune responses. It is expressed in mucosa membrane and is present in saliva, tears, vaginal secretion and neutrophils. It modulates immune and inflammatory response by down-regulating several cytokines. Therefore, lactoferrin is an important protein in first line of defense and protecting health. Changes in lactoferrin expression could also be used as a marker of gene activation, especially estrogen-induced gene activity in the uterus.
The inventors have uniquely purified a novel 70 kDa estrogen-stimulated glycoprotein, lactoferrin, from mouse uterine luminal fluid. CM-Affi-Gel Blue column chromatography provided a simple one step separation of lactoferrin from the other luminal and serum proteins. Furthermore, a polyclonal antibody was created in rabbit, which has been utilized for immunostaining, Western blot, and elisa assays on human, mouse, rat, and hamster tissues. The cDNA to both human and mouse were cloned. Probes designed to detect the methylation status or polymorphisms of the human lactoferrin gene are available and can be used as diagnostic tool in cancer study.
The inventor has available polyclonal antibodies for both human and mouse, as well as purified mouse lactoferrin protein.