The receptor for epidermal growth factor (EGF-R) was characterized on membrane fractions from human benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Specific binding of [125I]EGF reached equilibrium after 40 min at 25°C and was stable for up to 120 min. Saturation analysis of EGF-R, performed by incubating the membranes with 0.0156-15 nM [125I]EGF in the presence and in the absence of 100-fold excess of cold EGF for 60 min, revealed the presence of two classes of binding sites with high and low affinities (Kd = 0.35 ± 0.23 and 9.60 ± 2.87 nM respectively). Competition experiments revealed that FSH, insulin and calcitonin did not compete with [125I]EGF. The simultaneous determination of EGF-R and that of estradiol (ER), progesterone (PR) and androgen receptors (AR) was performed using the same buffer to homogenate the tissues and to obtain cellular membranes. The steroid receptors (SR) were determined by means of the dextran-coated charcoal method. There was a significant negative correlation between nuclear SR and binding capacity of EGF-R. The presence of specific and high affinity binding sites for EGF and the modulation of the level of these sites by steroid receptors suggest a possible role of EGF in prostatic hyperplasia.
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