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J Biol Chem. 1978 Feb 10;253(3):804-10.

Biosynthesis of beta nerve growth factor in mouse submaxillary glands.


The biosynthesis of beta nerve growth factor (betaNGF) was studied in isolated mouse submaxillary glands incubated with L-[35S]cystine. Sodium dodecyl sulfate gels of anti-betaNGF immunoprecipitates from labeled gland homogenates showed a single major peak of radioactivity, which comigrated with purified betaNGF. This species was nearly completely precipitated by the addition of equivalent amounts of anti-betaNGF, but was absent from immunoprecipitates obtained by the addition of ferritin plus anti-ferritin. The cystine-containing tryptic peptides of the labeled species appeared identical with those of purified betaNGF. In submaxillary glands from adult male mice, labeling of betaNGF represented approximately 0.2% of the trichloroacetic acid-precipitable radioactivity. Castration reduced this value to one-third, while testosterone treatment of castrated animals restored the relative betaNGF synthesis to normal or more. No betaNGF synthesis could be detected in glands from female animals. Several tissues were examined for their ability to synthesize betaNGF in culture. Only submaxillary gland incorporated detectable amounts of radioactivity into betaNGF. Labeling of betaNGF could also be obtained by direct injection of isotope into the submaxillary gland in vivo. The results are discussed in terms of the integration of betaNGF synthesis into neuronal development and maintenance.

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