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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1996 Jun 11;93(12):5877-82.

The recombinant proregion of transforming growth factor beta1 (latency-associated peptide) inhibits active transforming growth factor beta1 in transgenic mice.

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  • 1Laboratory of Chemoprevention, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892-5055, USA.


All three isoforms of transforming growth factors beta (TGF-betal, TGF-beta2, and TGF-beta3) are secreted as latent complexes and activated extracellularly, leading to the release of the mature cytokines from their noncovalently associated proregions, also known as latency-associated peptides (LAPs). The LAP region of TGF-beta1 was expressed in a baculovirus expression system and purified to homogeneity. In vitro assays of growth inhibition and gene induction mediated by TGF-beta3 demonstrate that recombinant TGF-beta1 LAP is a potent inhibitor of the activities of TGF-betal, -beta2, and -beta3. Effective dosages of LAP for 50% neutralization of TGF-beta activities range from 4.7- to 80-fold molar excess depending on the TGF-beta isoform and activity examined. Using 125I-labeled LAP, we show that the intraperitoneal application route is effective for systemic administration of LAP. Comparison of concentrations of LAP in tissues shows a homogenous pattern in most organs with the exception of heart and muscle, in which levels of LAP are 4- to 8-fold lower. In transgenic mice with elevated hepatic levels of bioactive TGF-betal, treatment with recombinant LAP completely reverses suppression of the early proliferative response induced by TGF-beta1 in remnant livers after partial hepatectomy. The results suggest that recombinant LAP is a potent inhibitor of bioactive TGF-beta both in vitro and in vivo, after intraperitoneal administration. Recombinant LAP should be a useful tool for novel approaches to study and therapeutically modulate pathophysiological processes mediated by TGF-beta3.

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