It is an accepted hypothesis that the nerve growth factor protein (NGF) plays an important role in the development of vertebrate sympathetic and sensory ganglia and has effects on some central neurons. The best known NGF species is that isolated from the mouse submaxillary gland, MSG-NGF. MSG-NGF can be isolated as a subunit containing protein, 7S-NGF, made up of three dissimilar subunits called alpha-, beta-, and gamma-NGF. Beta-NGF is the biologically active subunit and its synthesis in vivo and in vitro has been demonstrated. Less is known about the synthesis of the alpha- and gamma-NGF or the assembly of the subunits into the 7S complex. In order to develop a clonal model system for the study of NGF synthesis, processing and secretion, affinity chromatography techniques were applied to cell extracts of S180 mouse sarcoma, a cell line known to synthesize NGF. After incubating S180 cells in35S-Methionine, cell extracts were exposed to antibody directed against alpha-NGF, gamma-NGF or beta-NGF covalently bound to Sepharose beads in order to elute and characterize the desired NGF subunits. Parallel experiments using immunoabsorbed [35S]Methionine-beta-NGF were carried out in the presence or absence of excess NGF, in order to demonstrate the specificity of this procedure. Affinity chromatography with a substrate analogue to arginine ester bound to Sepharose beads was also used to isolate de novo synthesized gamma-NGF. We were able to show that the S180 line synthesized alpha-, beta-, and gamma-NGF indistiguishable from alpha-, beta-, and gamma-NGF isolated from mouse submaxillary gland in terms of antigenic and physicochemical properties, and biological and enzymatic activities. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that NGF is synthesized, assembled and secreted by a single cell type.
- NGF subunits
- S180 sarcoma
- neuronotrophic factors
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience