Interaction of epidermal growth factor with receptors on human and porcine thyroid membranes


    Recent evidence suggests that epidermal growth factor (EGF) may play an important role in the regulation of thyroid growth and function. We have examined the interaction of murine EGF (mEGF) with human and porcine thyroid membranes and compared this with the binding of bovine TSH (bTSH) using 125I-labelled hormones as tracers. The characteristics of the binding of mEGF were found to be similar for human and porcine thyroid membranes. Epidermal growth factor bound with high affinity (affinity constant = 1·4 × 109 l/mol); the density of binding sites was low compared with the TSH receptor. At 37 °C, the binding of 125I-labelled EGF was maximal at 1 h and was saturable in the presence of unlabelled EGF; half-maximal inhibition was at 1 ng EGF/tube (0·5 nmol/l) using 0·5 mg membrane protein/tube. Unlabelled bTSH had no effect on the binding of labelled EGF. Similarly, unlabelled EGF did not affect the binding of labelled TSH; hence it was concluded that mEGF and bTSH bound to independent sites. Epidermal growth factor had no effect on adenylate cyclase activity in membranes prepared from human non-toxic goitre; increasing concentrations of EGF did not affect basal, TSH-stimulated or fluoride-stimulated enzyme activity.

    J. Endocr. (1984) 102, 57–61

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