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Br J Cancer. 1993 Apr;67(4):686-92.

Characterisation of UGP and its relationship with beta-core fragment.

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  • 1Department of Medical Oncology, Charing Cross Hospital, London, UK.


Urinary gonadotrophin peptide (UGP) was originally identified by immunoassay in the urine of patients with various types of cancer and by immunohistochemistry in human cancers of various histological types. Extracts of normal adult male urine also contained UGP by immunoassay. Purified UGP from different starting material was subjected to high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) prior to defining amino acid sequences. Chromatographed UGP after HPLC showed three distinct fractions. The N-terminal sequence of peptide 2 was completely homologous with the beta-core fragment of human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) and this was found associated with two smaller peptides. The N-terminal sequence of peptide 1 has not been described previously whilst the N-terminus of peptide 3 that was sequenced showed complete homology with the N-terminal sequence of eosinophil derived neurotoxin and non-secretory ribonuclease. The monoclonal antibodies 2C2 and 6D3 only bind beta core-fragment (peptide 2) whilst the polyclonal (rabbit) antibody AK12 could bind all three peptides. The radioimmunoassay system using AK12 could be inhibited by all three peptides and the immunoradiometric assay although based on a capture antibody (2C2) that only bound peptide 2, had the potential to measure all three peptides (when bound together as UGP) at the second step when 125I-AK12 was introduced as the detector. A specific radioimmunoassay for peptide 3 was generated using 125I-peptide 3 and the AK12 antibody. Beta core-fragment on iso-electric focusing was found to have a pI > 9.5, peptide 3 showed two bands at pI = 3.5 and 3.8 whilst insufficient purified peptide 1 was available to determine its iso-electric point. Bioassay studies on UGP showed that any biological activity could be attributed to trace contamination with hCG.

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