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Unfolded transferrin polypeptide chain is immunologically crossreactive with similar derivatives of serum albumin and alpha-fetoprotein.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
The Journal of Immunology
Publisher
The American Association of Immunologists
Volume
128
Issue
3
Pages
1163–1167
Source
Ruoslahti Lab
License
Unknown

Abstract

Radioimmunoassays utilizing reduced and carboxymethylated (RC) proteins as antigens reveal a cross-reactivity between alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) and albumin. Similar assays were used to study the relationships of AFP and albumin to other serum proteins. Of the several serum proteins tested, transferrin showed the most similarity with AFP and albumin. There was no cross-reactivity of the native proteins, but antisera prepared against RC-albumin and RC-AFP bound 125I-labeled RC-transferrin at high titers, and antiserum to RC-transferrin bound labeled RC-AFP but not RC-albumin. Inhibition assays utilizing binding of 125I-RC-AFP or 125I-RC-transferrin to anti-RC-albumin showed that the RC derivatives of AFP, albumin, and transferrin were equally efficient inhibitors, whereas other serum proteins inhibited much less. The serum vitamin D carrier protein (Gc protein) showed intermediate reactivity. The reactivities of the antisera to RC-albumins with RC-transferrin and RC-Gc protein were corroborated by immunostaining of proteins separated by sodium dodecyl sulfate/polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and transferred to nitrocellulose filters. These antisera stained the bands formed by RC derivatives of albumin, AFP, transferrin, and Gc protein, but not other proteins tested. AFP and albumin are known to have amino acid sequence homology. Our results suggest that transferrin and possibly also Gc protein may be structurally related to AFP and albumin.

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