The production of immunoreactive somatomedin-C/insulin-like growth factor I (Sm-C/IGF-I) by the established cell line derived from a human lung carcinoma CALU-6 has been evidenced in the serum-free medium in increasing concentrations as a function of the incubation time. Gel filtration in acid conditions of cell-conditioned medium collected after 72 h showed peaks of immunoreactive Sm-C/IGF-I in the elution volume corresponding to the molecular weight of the synthetic Sm-C/IGF-I, and in the high molecular weight region, where specific binding sites for SmC/IGF-I could be also demonstrated. These results indicate that this established cell line produces high amounts of immunoreactive Sm-C/IGF-I and of Sm-C/IGF-I carrier protein. The pooled fractions corresponding to the molecular weight of synthetic Sm-C/IGF-I showed a competitive binding curve parallel to the standard in the Sm-C/IGF-I RIA system, and a mitogenic activity on cells from the same line similar to the one observed using two different pure Sm-C/IGF-I preparations, obtained by chemical synthesis or by DNA recombinant technology. When a monoclonal antibody (sm-1.2) raised against Sm-C/IGF-I was added into the medium, the mitogenic effect observed by both synthetic and cell-derived Sm-C/IGF-I peptide was completely abolished; the monoclonal antibody also partially inhibited the effect of 10% fetal calf serum and the thymidine incorporation observed in serum-free medium without growth factors. In serum-free medium the monoclonal antibody produced a 45% reduction of cells in S phase by thymidine labeling index without modification of the growth fraction as determined by primer-dependent α-DNA polymerase labeling index. In conclusion it seems that Sm-C/IGF-I has a critical role in the autocrine stimulation of the replication of this cell line.


Supported by Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche research grants n. 86.00534.04.115.05482 and n. 85.02252.44 under the special project, Oncology.

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