Tamm-Horsfall protein

Tamm-Horsfall Protein

Tamm-Horsfall protein

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The Tamm-Horsfall glycoprotein (THP) also known as uromodulin is a glycoprotein that in humans is encoded by the UMOD gene. Uromodulin is the most abundant protein in normal urine.


The human UMOD gene is located on chromosome 16. While several transcript variants may exist for this gene, the full-length natures of only two have been described to date. These two represent the major variants of this gene and encode the same isoform.


THP is a GPI-anchored glycoprotein. It is not derived from blood plasma but is produced by the thick ascending limb of the loop of Henle of mammalian kidney. While the monomeric molecule has a MW of approximately 68 kDa, it is physiologically present in urine in large aggregates of up to several million Da. When this protein is concentrated at low pH, it forms a gel. Tamm-Horsfall protein is the most abundant protein in mammalian urine. It is the matrix of urinary casts derived from the secretion of renal tubular cells.


Uromodulin excretion in urine follows proteolytic cleavage of the ectodomain of its glycophosphatidylinositol-anchored counterpart that is situated on the luminal cell surface of the loop of Henle. Uromodulin may act as a constitutive inhibitor of calcium crystallization in renal fluids. Excretion of uromodulin in...
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