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Cancer Res. 1986 Oct;46(10):5339-43.

Quantitation and characterization of gamma-interferon receptors on human tumor cells.


The vast majority (71 of 77) of human tumor cells derived from various tissue origins were found to express specific membrane receptors for gamma-interferon (IFN-gamma). Six receptor-negative tumors were found among leukemic cells of lymphoid origin. Scatchard analysis with 125I-labeled human recombinant IFN-gamma revealed a similar binding affinity with a mean dissociation constant (Kd) of around 2 X 10(-11) M not only for various established cell lines, but also for leukemic and carcinoma cells derived from biopsy material. In contrast to similar KdS, large differences in the number of expressed IFN-gamma membrane receptors were found on distinct tumor cells of the same cell type ranging from a few hundred up to 2 X 10(4) for both carcinoma cells and leukemic cells. For comparison, the IFN-gamma receptor number on normal lymphocytes (mean, approximately 300/cell) and normal bone marrow cells (mean, approximately 1000/cell) was consistently found to be low. Cross-linking of membrane-bound 125I-IFN-gamma with disuccinimidyl suberate and subsequent sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis analysis revealed, in both leukemia and carcinoma cells, three distinct complexes with molecular weights of approximately 70,000, 92,000, and 160,000, suggesting the existence of IFN-gamma receptor subunits. A dimeric structure of the functional IFN-gamma receptor with an estimated molecular weight of about 128,000 +/- 10,000 is proposed. Together with the Scatchard analysis, these data suggest the existence of a single class of high affinity IFN-gamma receptors in tumor cells of distinct tissue origin.

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