A non-ionic detergent such as Lubrol-PX extracts in soluble form the VIP-binding structures of rat liver plasma membranes. Detergent-solubitized proteins bind specifically [125I]VIP and the complex tracer-protein is identified by the use of Sepharose 6B columns. The interaction is only possible in the absence of detergent (below 0.001%) and is inhibited by native peptide. A molecular weight of about 80,000 was estimated for VIP-binding proteins by reference to a series of globular markers of proteins. Binding to VIP soluble proteins is specific and dependent on time as studied by the Hummel and Dreyer (Biochim. Biophys. Acta63:530–532, 1962) assay.

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