Distinct immunoreactive forms of calcitonin (CT), extracted with 2 m acetic acid from two pancreatic tumors, were characterized and identified by gel permeation chromatography and by reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography. The extracted CT forms were compared to CT obtained from medullary thyroid carcinoma and from normal thyroid glands, and were, furthermore, analyzed in a rat hypocalcemic bioassay. On gel filtration analysis, two broad peaks coeluting with synthetic human CT-(1-32) and extracted dimeric CT, respectively, were found in variable amounts. An acetonitrile gradient high-performance liquid chromatography system revealed two to three predominant CT peaks. Biologically active monomeric and dimeric CT and the biologically inactive sulfoxide form of human CT-(1-32) have been identified. Moreover, we have detected for the first time a new biologically active CT-like component which was most prominently recognized in a benign pancreatic tumor.

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This work was supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation Grants 3.941-0.78 and 3.813-0.81, the State of Zurich, and the Schweizerische Verein Balgrist.

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