A simple method for preparing plasma membranes from bovine testes is described. Bovine testicular receptor has a high affinity and specificity for 125I-labelled human FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone). The specific binding of 125I-labelled human FSH to the plasma membranes is a saturable process with respect to the amounts of receptor protein and FSH added. The association and dissociation of 125I-labelled human FSH are time- and temperature-dependent, and the binding of labelled human FSH to bovine testicular receptor is strong and not readily reversible. Scatchard [Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. (1949) 51, 660-672] analysis indicates a dissociation constant, Kd, of 9.8 ×10-11M, and 5.9 × 10-14mol of binding sites/mg of membrane protein. The testicular membrane receptor is heat-labile. Preheating at 40°C for 15 min destroyed 30% of the binding activity. Specific binding is pH-dependent, with an optimum between pH 7.0 and 7.5. Brief exposure to extremes of pH caused irreversible damage to the receptors. The ionic strength of the incubation medium markedly affects the association of 125I-labelled human FSH with its testicular receptor. Various cations at concentrations of 0.1M inhibit almost completely the binding of 125I-labelled human FSH. Nuclectides and steroid hormones at concentrations of 1mM and 5 μg/ml respectively have no effect on the binding of FSH to its receptor. Incubation of membranes with and chymotrypsin resulted in an almost complete loss of binding activity, suggesting that protein moieties are essential for the binding of 125I-labelled human FSH. Binding of 125I-labelled human FSH to bovine testicular receptor does not result in destruction or degradation of the hormone.

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