At 5 min after intravenous injection, both 125I-labelled human somatotropin and 125I-labelled bovine somatotropin were concentrated in rat liver and kidney. When the labelled hormones were administered along with an excess of the corresponding unlabelled hormone, a significant decrease of the uptake was observed in the liver, but not in the kidney. Study of the subcellular distribution of radioiodinated somatotropins in liver revealed that most of the radioactivity was specifically concentrated in the microsomal fraction. In contrast, the kidney fraction that accounted for most of the radioactivity was the 100 000 g supernatant. After solubilization, with 1% (w/v) Triton X-100, of the microsomal fractions obtained from both organs, the radioactive material was analysed by gel filtration on Sepharose CL-6B. By using this approach, it was demonstrated that both 125I-labelled human somatotropin and 125I-labelled bovine somatotropin bind in vivo to proteins present in liver. A small proportion of 125I-labelled human somatotropin was also shown to form complexes with proteins present in kidney. The present results demonstrate that the liver uptake is mainly due to binding of somatotropins to specific proteins, in contrast with the kidney, in which binding to specific sites contributes minimally to the overall uptake.
Specific binding of 125I-labelled human somatotropin was demonstrated in microsomal membranes (microsomes) from rat and rabbit kidneys. Female rabbit kidney microsomes showed the highest binding activity and were used for further study. The association of 125I-labelled human somatotropin was time- and temperature-dependent and the binding reaction was reversible. Scatchard analysis of saturation data indicated a dissociation equilibrium constant, KD, of 56 pM and a binding capacity of 37 fmol per mg of protein. Similar results were obtained from competition experiments. Binding of 125I-labelled human somatotropin to the microsomes was specifically inhibited by hormones with lactogenic activity. The binding sites, as well as 125I-labelled human somatotropin, were not inactivated on incubation. Treatment of the microsomes with trypsin and chymotrypsin decreased the specific binding by over 90%. Preheating of the microsomes at 55 degrees C for 15 min abolished 50% of the specific binding activity.
Lactogenic receptors from rat liver microsomal fraction (‘microsomes’) were extracted by treatment with 1% (w/v) Triton X-100. Triton X-100 exerts an inhibitory effect on both the binding reaction and the separation of the free hormone from the complex. The association and dissociation of 125I-labelled human somatotropin are time- and temperature-dependent processes. The association rate constant, k1, is 6.7 × 10(6) mol . litre-1 . min-1 at 25 decrees C, and the dissociation rate constant, k-1, is 1.1 × 10(-3) min-1 at 25 degrees C. Scatchard analysis of saturation data reveals the existence of a single class of receptors and that solubilization leads to a slight decrease in affinity and a sharp increase in binding capacity. The dissociation constant, Kd, of the solubilized preparation is 0.22 nM and the binding capacity 2900 fmol/mg of protein. Similar results were obtained from competition experiments. Binding of 125I-labelled human somatotropin to the solubilized receptors is specifically inhibited by hormones with lactogenic activity. Incubation of the solubilized preparation with trypsin resulted in an 80% decrease in binding activity. The solubilized form of the receptor has a slightly increased sensitivity to the inactivation by trypsin, heat and extremes of pH, with respect to the membrane-bound form.