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Am J Pathol. 1995 Nov;147(5):1228-37.

Immunohistochemical detection of active transforming growth factor-beta in situ using engineered tissue.

Author information

1
Life Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkely Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley 94720, USA.
2
Lawrence Berkeley Labs, Berkeley, CA

Abstract

The biological activity of transforming growth factor-beta 1 (TGF-beta) is governed by dissociation from its latent complex. Immunohistochemical discrimination of active and latent TGF-beta could provide insight into TGF-beta activation in physiological and pathological processes. However, evaluation of immunoreactivity specificity in situ has been hindered by the lack of tissue in which TGF-beta status is known. To provide in situ analysis of antibodies to differentiate between these functional forms, we used xenografts of human tumor cells modified by transfection to overexpress latent TGF-beta or constitutively active TGF-beta. This comparison revealed that, whereas most antibodies did not differentiate between TGF-beta activation status, the immunoreactivity of some antibodies was activation dependent. Two widely used peptide antibodies to the amino-terminus of TGF-beta, LC(1-30) and CC(1-30) showed marked preferential immunoreactivity with active TGF-beta versus latent TGF-beta in cryosections. However, in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue, discrimination of active TGF-beta by CC(1-30) was lost and immunoreactivity was distinctly extracellular, as previously reported for this antibody. Similar processing-dependent extracellular localization was found with a neutralizing antibody raised to recombinant TGF-beta. Antigen retrieval recovered cell-associated immunoreactivity of both antibodies. Two antibodies to peptides 78-109 showed mild to moderate preferential immunoreactivity with active TGF-beta only in paraffin sections. LC(1-30) was the only antibody tested that discriminated active from latent TGF-beta in both frozen and paraffin-embedded tissue. Thus, in situ discrimination of active versus latent TGF-beta depends on both the antibody and tissue preparation. We propose that tissues engineered to express a specific form of a given protein provide a physiological setting in which to evaluate antibody reactivity with specific functional forms of a protein.

PMID:
7485387
PMCID:
PMC1869520
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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