Mouse cyclophilin C-associated protein (CyCAP) is a member of the scavenger-receptor cysteine-rich domain superfamily and is 69% identical to the human Mac-2 binding protein. Here, we show that CyCAP is a widely expressed secreted glycoprotein that modulates the host response to endotoxin. Gene-targeted CyCAP-deficient mice are more sensitive to the lethal effects of endotoxin. In response to endotoxin, CyCAP-deficient mice overproduced interleukin 12 and interferon-gamma systemically and tumor necrosis factor alpha locally; these are proinflammatory molecules that also promote T helper 1 responses. Furthermore, macrophages stimulated in vitro with endotoxin in serum deficient in CyCAP secreted more tumor necrosis factor alpha, supporting the proposal that CyCAP specifically down-modulates endotoxin signaling.
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