We recently identified a 32K mol wt insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-binding protein (BP) which is markedly increased in the serum of streptozotocin-diabetic rats and recognized by antiserum against the human amniotic fluid IGFBP (hIGFBP-1). In the present study we sought to confirm that this protein represents the rat homolog of IGFBP-1 (rIGFBP-1), and that rIGFBP-1 may, therefore, play an important role in the regulation of IGF bioactivity in experimental diabetes. Since the abundance of related hepatic mRNA is high in diabetic rats, we asked whether well differentiated H4EIIC3rat hepatoma cells produce rIGFBP-1 and provide sufficient amounts of this protein for purification and further characterization. Specific IGF-binding activity in hepatoma conditioned medium was detected initially by incubation with125I-labeled recombinant human IGF-II and precipitation with polyethylene glycol. Ligand blotting demonstrated a 32K BP, identical in size to the major low mol wt IGFBP found in diabetic rat serum. Affinity labeling and immunoprecipitation confirmed that this BP is related to human IGFBP-1 and is distinct from the fetal rat IGFBP, rIGFBP-2. Incorporation of [35S]methionine into 32K BPs confirmed synthesis by hepatoma cells. For purification of BPs, conditioned medium was collected in roller culture, and BPs were purified by ammonium sulfate precipitation, Sephadex G-75 chromatography, and reverse phase HPLC. Partial amino acid sequencing of purified protein demonstrated 68% identity with the human IGFBP-1 and distinguished this BP from previously characterized rat IGFBPs. Purified protein bound both IGF-I and IGF-II with high affinity.We conclude that the 32K IGFBP produced by H4EIIC3hepatoma cells in culture represents the rat form of IGFBP-1 (rIGFBP-1). Regulation of rIGFBP-1 may play an important role in the modulation of IGF bioactivity in experimental animals with metabolic disease. The availability of purified rIGFBP-1 and identification of a cell line that produces this BP will greatly facilitate future studies of IGFBP-1 in the rat model.
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