Cubilin and Megalin
Acid Vesicles

Author: Gianpiero Pescarmona
Date: 05/12/2008


A cartoon diagram of the structure of the cubilin-amnionless-megalin multiligand receptor endocytic complex is shown. Megalin is a cell-surface receptor/transporter consisting of a large extracellular region, a single transmembrane domain, and a C-terminal cytoplasmic tail. The extracellular domain of megalin contains four clusters of lipoprotein receptor ligand-binding repeats (blue), growth factor repeats, an EGF repeat, and YWTD spacer regions. The second cluster of ligand-binding repeats has been identified as a common binding site for several ligands including apolipoprotein E (Apo E), apolipoprotein M (Apo M), retinol binding protein (Rbp), and transthyretin (Ttr). Megalin also binds the soluble form of the folate receptor (Folr1), and the morphogen sonic hedgehog (Shh). The cytoplasmic tail of megalin binds Dab2, a cytosolic adapter protein important for megalin-mediated endocytosis, and Dab2 binds and recruits Myo6 to clathrin-coated vesicles. The receptor-associated protein (Lrpap1; RAP) binds both megalin and cubilin. Cubilin is a peripheral membrane receptor comprised of a short amino terminal, eight EGF type domains, and 27 CUB domains (green). The amino-terminal end of cubilin is attached to the extracellular part of amnionless (Amn), and amnionless provides the transmembrane domain necessary for the anchoring and endocytic trafficking of cubilin. Cubilin ligands include transferring (Trf), albumin, hemoglobin, apolipoprotein A1 (ApoA1), and intrinsic factor (IF)-vitamin B12.


From: Gelineau-van Waes et al. BMC Genomics 2008 9:156 doi:10.1186/1471-2164-9-156

Additional figure

The amino-terminal region contains a potential palmitoylation site and an amphipathic alpha-helical structure with some similarity to the lipid-binding regions of apolipoproteins. Both are potential contributors to the anchoring of the receptor in the membran


Tissue distribution

Google Images Cubilin and Megalin

Vit B12 Absorption

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