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Reviewed April 2013

What is the official name of the LRP2 gene?

The official name of this gene is “LDL receptor related protein 2.”

LRP2 is the gene's official symbol. The LRP2 gene is also known by other names, listed below.

Read more about gene names and symbols on the About page.

What is the normal function of the LRP2 gene?

The LRP2 gene provides instructions for making a protein called megalin, which functions as a receptor. Receptor proteins have specific sites into which certain other proteins, called ligands, fit like keys into locks. Together, ligands and their receptors trigger signals that affect cell development and function. Megalin has many ligands involved in various body processes, including the absorption of vitamins A and D, immune functioning, stress response, and the transport of fats in the bloodstream.

Megalin is embedded in the membrane of cells that line the surfaces and cavities of the body (epithelial cells). The receptor helps move its ligands from the cell surface into the cell (endocytosis), and is also involved in transporting the ligands of a related receptor called cubulin. Megalin is active in the development and function of many parts of the body, including the brain and spinal cord (central nervous system), eyes, ears, lungs, intestine, reproductive system, and the small tubes in the kidneys where urine is formed (renal tubules).

How are changes in the LRP2 gene related to health conditions?

Donnai-Barrow syndrome - caused by mutations in the LRP2 gene

At least twelve LRP2 gene mutations have been identified in people with Donnai-Barrow syndrome. These mutations are believed to result in the absence of functional megalin protein. The lack of functional megalin in the renal tubules causes megalin's various ligands to be excreted in the urine rather than being absorbed back into the bloodstream. The features of Donnai-Barrow syndrome are probably caused by the inability of megalin to help absorb these ligands, disruption of biochemical signaling pathways, or other effects of the nonfunctional megalin protein. However, it is unclear how these abnormalities result in the specific signs and symptoms of the disorder.

A condition previously classified as a separate disorder called facio-oculo-acoustico-renal (FOAR) syndrome has also been found to be caused by LRP2 gene mutations. FOAR syndrome is now considered to be the same disorder as Donnai-Barrow syndrome.

cancers - associated with the LRP2 gene

Certain common genetic variations (polymorphisms) in the LRP2 gene may be associated with differences in the progression, recurrence, and severity of prostate cancer in affected men. Androgens, which are male sex hormones that contribute to the growth of cancerous (malignant) prostate tumors, are among megalin's ligands. A recent study suggests that prostate tumor cells may produce increased amounts of megalin and thereby absorb more androgens. LRP2 gene polymorphisms that increase the activity of megalin may encourage more aggressive tumor growth, while polymorphisms that decrease the activity of megalin may tend to slow tumor growth.

other disorders - associated with the LRP2 gene

Certain LRP2 gene polymorphisms have also been associated with increased levels of low-density lipoproteins (LDLs) and cholesterol in the blood. LDLs are the primary carriers of cholesterol in the blood. Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that is produced in the body and obtained from foods that come from animals. Increased LDL levels may result in excess cholesterol circulating through the bloodstream and accumulating on the walls of the blood vessels, increasing a person's risk of cardiovascular disease.

LDLs are among megalin's ligands, and researchers believe that variations in megalin function resulting from LRP2 gene changes may influence LDL levels.

Genetics Home Reference provides information about prostate cancer, which is also associated with changes in the LRP2 gene.

Where is the LRP2 gene located?

Cytogenetic Location: 2q31.1

Molecular Location on chromosome 2: base pairs 169,127,109 to 169,362,613

(Homo sapiens Annotation Release 107, GRCh38.p2) (NCBIThis link leads to a site outside Genetics Home Reference.)

The LRP2 gene is located on the long (q) arm of chromosome 2 at position 31.1.

The LRP2 gene is located on the long (q) arm of chromosome 2 at position 31.1.

More precisely, the LRP2 gene is located from base pair 169,127,109 to base pair 169,362,613 on chromosome 2.

See How do geneticists indicate the location of a gene? in the Handbook.

Where can I find additional information about LRP2?

You and your healthcare professional may find the following resources about LRP2 helpful.

You may also be interested in these resources, which are designed for genetics professionals and researchers.

What other names do people use for the LRP2 gene or gene products?

  • calcium sensor protein
  • DBS
  • glycoprotein 330 (gp330)
  • gp330
  • Heymann nephritis antigen homolog
  • low density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 2
  • megalin

Where can I find general information about genes?

The Handbook provides basic information about genetics in clear language.

These links provide additional genetics resources that may be useful.

What glossary definitions help with understanding LRP2?

androgens ; calcium ; cancer ; cardiovascular ; cell ; central nervous system ; cholesterol ; endocytosis ; epithelial ; gene ; intestine ; LDL ; lipoprotein ; low-density lipoproteins ; nephritis ; nervous system ; progression ; prostate ; protein ; receptor ; renal ; stress ; syndrome ; tumor ; vitamins

You may find definitions for these and many other terms in the Genetics Home Reference Glossary.

See also Understanding Medical Terminology.

References (9 links)


The resources on this site should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice. Users seeking information about a personal genetic disease, syndrome, or condition should consult with a qualified healthcare professional. See How can I find a genetics professional in my area? in the Handbook.

Reviewed: April 2013
Published: February 1, 2016