The calcium oxalate crystal growth inhibitor protein produced by mouse kidney cortical cells in culture is osteopontin.J Bone Miner Res. 1992 Sep; 7(9):1029-36.JB
Urine contains proteins that inhibit the growth of calcium oxalate (CaOx) crystals and may prevent the formation of kidney stones. We have identified a potent crystal growth inhibitor in the conditioned media from primary cultures of mouse kidney cortical cells. Conditioned media, incubated with the kidney cells for 6-72 h, was assayed for crystal growth inhibition; inhibitory activity increased 15-fold by 24 h. Inhibitory activity was purified from serum-free media containing proteinase inhibitors using anion-exchange and gel-filtration chromatography. A single band of molecular weight 80,000 daltons was seen after SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. The sequence of the N-terminal 21 amino acids of this protein matched that of osteopontin (OP), a phosphoprotein initially isolated from bone matrix. Antisera raised to fusion proteins produced by plasmids containing the N-terminal or C-terminal portions of OP cDNA also cross-reacted with the protein purified from cell culture media on western blots. The effect of the purified protein on the growth of CaOx crystals was measured using a constant composition assay. A 50% inhibition of growth occurred at a protein concentration of 0.85 micrograms/ml, and the dissociation constant of the protein with respect to CaOx crystal was 3.7 x 10(-8) M. The concentration of OP in mouse urine, measured using antibodies raised to the purified protein, was approximately 8 micrograms/ml. We conclude that OP is synthesized by kidney cortical tubule cells and functions as a crystal growth inhibitory protein in urine.