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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Cross-linking of a growth hormone releasing factor-binding protein in anterior pituitary cells.

Growth hormone-releasing factor (GRF) stimulates the release of growth hormone from the anterior pituitary and is related to the peptides of the glucagon/secretin family. Although the mechanism of action of this hormone has been studied in considerable detail, little is known concerning the GRF receptor itself. We have attempted to label the GRF receptor by chemically coupling the 125I-GRF analog [His1, Nle27]-hGRF(1-32)-NH2 (GRFa) (where Nle is norleucine) to plated rat anterior pituitary cells with the protein cross-linker disuccinimidyl suberate (DSS) (0.1 mM). Verification of biological activity of the 125I-GRFa was confirmed prior to the cross-linking experiments using the reverse hemolytic plaque assay. Whole cell extracts prepared from the cross-linked cells were subjected to sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis followed by autoradiography of the dried gels. Four bands of 72, 50, 30, and 26 kDa were detected in autoradiograms from cells exposed to the labeled analog for 20 min (22 degrees C) followed by exposure to DSS for 2 min. The 72-kDa band was interpreted to be bovine serum albumin, which was used as a carrier in initial studies. The 50- and 30-kDa bands were very faint and probably represent nonspecific binding sites since they were unchanged in the presence of excess unlabeled GRFa. The 26-kDa band was diminished in a concentration-dependent manner by unlabeled rat GRF, GRFa, and to a lesser extent by vasoactive intestinal peptide ( VIP). It is unlikely, however, that GRFa was acting at a VIP receptor since the labeled analog did not induce prolactin secretion ( VIP is a prolactin secretagogue). GRFa also increased cellular cAMP to levels similar to GRF and greater than VIP. Autoradiographs from gels run under nonreducing conditions revealed the 26-kDa band as the major species, indicating that, if a polymeric form of this binding protein exists, it does not involve disulfide linkages. Thus, the best candidate for the putative GRF receptor is the 26-kDa band. We have further demonstrated that the higher concentrations of DSS used previously (5 mM) result in diffuse autoradiograms with multiple bands, suggesting that caution should be exercised when interpreting cross-linking data under these conditions.[1]


  1. Cross-linking of a growth hormone releasing factor-binding protein in anterior pituitary cells. Zysk, J.R., Cronin, M.J., Anderson, J.M., Thorner, M.O. J. Biol. Chem. (1986) [Pubmed]
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