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S Marsigliante, A Muscella, S Vilella, G Nicolardi, L Ingrosso, V Ciardo, V Zonno, G P Vinson, M M Ho, and C Storelli


Using labelled ligand-binding methods, previous studies have identified specific angiotensin II receptors (Ang II-Rs) in eel liver, kidney and intestine membranes. Isoelectric focusing on polyacrylamide gels also showed that there are two Ang II-R isoforms in eel liver, focusing at isoelectric points (pI) 6·5 and 6·7. These may have different functions. In contrast, eel enterocyte plasma membrane and renal brush border membranes contain only the pI 6·5 form.

To characterize the eel receptors more fully, a newly developed monoclonal antibody (6313/G2) which selectively recognizes the AT1 subtype of mammalian Ang II-R was used. In ligand-binding experiments, the preincubation of eel liver membranes with 6313/G2 antibody eliminated the specific [3,5-3H]Tyr4-Ile5-Ang II binding. Moreover, Ang II—receptor complexes from solubilized liver membranes, which were immunoprecipitated by 6313/G2-coated beads, had a pI of 6·5. In immunoblotting experiments, the antibody recognized the isoform focusing at pI 6·5 in eel intestine and liver preparations, but not the liver pI 6·7 isoform. Immunoblotting of SDS gels showed that the antibody bound to a single protein of molecular mass of 75 kDa in eel liver, gill and kidney and to a doublet of molecular mass of about 74 and 75 kDa in intestinal membrane preparations. Immunocytochemistry of paraffin-embedded and cryostat sections of eel liver, kidney, intestine and gill showed that antibody 6313/G2 bound to uniformly distributed intracellular sites and cell surface membranes in proximal tubular cells, absorptive intestinal cells, hepatocytes and chloride cells. It also stained endothelium and both the longitudinal and circular layers of smooth muscle cells in the intestine.

The data suggest that the previously described Ang II-R from eel liver, kidney and intestine may be similar to the mammalian AT1 subtype.

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S Marsigliante, A Muscella, V Ciardo, J R Puddefoot, G Leo, G P Vinson, and C Storelli


We evaluated the presence and variability of oestrogen receptor (ER) isoforms in endometrial cancer by using [3H]oestradiol-labelled ERs and the H222 monoclonal antibody obtained from the Abbott enzyme immunoassay kit.

Using isoelectric focusing (IEF), endometrial ER was shown to be composed of four different species, with pI values of 6·1, 6·3, 6·6 and 6·8, indistinguishable from the isoforms found in normal rat uterus, and human breast and larynx carcinomas. The isoforms at pI 6·3, 6·6 and 6·8, all sedimenting at 4S by sucrose gradient fractionation, showed, on two-dimensional SDS electrophoresis, relative masses of 50, 70 and 65 kDa respectively, equal to the masses previously found in breast cancer. These isoforms did not alter their pI values during IEF fractionation performed in a linear gradient of urea, while the pI 6·1, sedimenting at 8S, generated a new isoform at about 9 mol/l urea with pI 7·2 and a relative mass of 65 kDa. The urea-dissociated isoform (pI 7·2) was able approximately to double the antibody binding with respect to the non-dissociated oligomer, which suggested that some epitopes are 'masked', i.e. not accessible to the antibodies when ER is present in its complexed form. The evidence thus suggested that the oligomer at pI 6·1 contained a single 65 kDa ER form which, as a monomer, focused at pI 7·2.

The variability in the ER isoform profile found in endometrial cancer was similar to the variability previously reported in breast and larynx carcinomas. The balance between these isoforms could be a dynamic parameter involved in the functionality of this receptor and consequently in cell transformation.