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J Biol Chem. 1988 Jan 25;263(3):1535-41.

Human transforming growth factor beta.alpha 2-macroglobulin complex is a latent form of transforming growth factor beta.

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  • 1E. A. Doisy Department of Biochemistry, St. Louis University School of Medicine, Missouri 63104.


125I-Labeled human platelet-derived transforming growth factor beta (125I-TGF-beta) and human alpha 2-macroglobulin (alpha 2M) formed a complex as demonstrated by 5% native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. The 125I-TGF-beta.alpha 2M complex migrated at a position identical to that of the fast migrating form of alpha 2M. Most of the 125I-TGF-beta.alpha 2M complex could be dissociated by acid or urea treatment. When 125I-TGF-beta was incubated with serum, the high molecular weight form of 125I-TGF-beta could be immunoprecipitated by anti-human alpha 2M anti-sera as demonstrated by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. alpha 2M purified from platelet-rich plasma also showed the latent transforming growth factor activity and immunoreactivity of TGF-beta. These results suggest that TGF-beta.alpha 2M complex is a latent form of TGF-beta.

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