We have characterized the folate receptor in malignant and benign tissues of human female genital tract (Fallopian tube and benign and malignant tissues of uterus). Radioligand binding displayed characteristics similar to those of other folate binding proteins. Those include a high-affinity type of binding (K=1010M−1), apparent positive cooperativity, a slow dissociation at pH 7.4 becoming rapid at pH 3.5, and inhibition of binding by folate analogues. The gel filtration profile of Triton X-100 solubilized tissue contained two large peaks of 3H-folate labelled protein (>=130 and 100kDa) as well as a 25 kDa peak. Only a single band of 70 kDa was seen on SDS-PAGE immunoblotting. The large molecular size forms on gel filtration appear to represent folate receptors having a hydrophobic membrane anchor inserted into Triton X-100 micelles. The folate receptor of female genital tract showed cross-reactivity in ELISA and positive immunostaining with rabbit antibodies against human milk folate binding protein. Variations in the ratio of immunoresponse to total high affinity folic acid binding suggests the presence of multiple isoforms of the receptor in different types of malignant and benign tissues.

This content is only available as a PDF.