Albumin binding sites of human hepatocytes

Swan N. Thung, Michael A. Gerber

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


ABSTRACT— Recent studies of hepatitis B virus suggest that polymeric human serum albumin may facilitate the attachment of the virus via albumin receptors to hepatocytes during the infectious process. If this hypothesis is correct, hepatocytes should express binding sites for polymeric albumin. We employed the red blood cell adherence test using albumin‐coated red blood cells as indicator cells on frozen sections of normal human livers to demonstrate these binding sites. Hepatocytes showed binding activity for both polymeric and monomeric albumin from different species. The receptor‐ligand interaction was temperature and pH dependent, Ca++ independent and not altered by mercaptoethanol treatment. The binding activity was sensitive to neuraminidase and pronase, but resistant to trypsin, lipase and collagenase digestion. These findings suggest that human hepatocytes display species‐non‐specific albumin binding sites, which are glycoproteins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)290-294
Number of pages5
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1983
Externally publishedYes


  • albumin receptors
  • hepatitis B virus
  • hepatocytes
  • polymerized albumin
  • red blood cell adherence test


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