Selenoprotein P (SELENOP) is selenium (Se)-containing protein in plasma, which is primarily produced in the liver. The “P” in SELENOP originated from the presence in plasma. SELENOP contains selenocysteine, a cysteine analog containing Se instead of sulfur. SELENOP is a multi-functional protein to reduce phospholipid hydroperoxides and to deliver Se from the liver to other tissues, such as those of the brain and testis, playing a pivotal role in Se metabolism and antioxidative defense. Decrease in SELENOP causes various dysfunctions related to Se deficiency and oxidative stress, while excessive SELENOP causes insulin resistance. This review focuses on the Se transport system of SELENOP, particularly its molecular mechanism and physiological role in Se metabolism. Furthermore, the chemical form of Se and its biological meaning is discussed.
- low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein
- selenium transport system
- selenoprotein synthesis