We have examined the developmental pattern of the insulin-like growth factor-II (IGF-II)/mannose 6-phosphate (M6P) receptor mRNA in various rat tissues from 20-day gestation fetuses and 20-day postnatal animals by Northern blotting and solution hybridization/RNase protection assays. The major mRNA species in all fetal and postnatal tissues was 9.0 kilobases. The rank order of receptor mRNA concentrations among the fetal tissues was heart > limb/muscle, lung, intestine, kidney, liver > brain, which agrees with the previously reported rank order of the tissue concentrations of receptor protein. The concentration of IGF-II/M6P receptor mRNA was significantly lower in postnatal tissues, again reflecting the relative levels of receptor protein in fetal and postnatal tissues. We measured IGF-II/M6P receptor mRNA copy number in fetal heart, the tissue with the highest concentration of receptor protein and mRNA, by including in the solution hybridization/RNase protection assay known amounts of a sense strand transcript of the receptor cDNA. This sense strand standard was quantitated by incorporating a tracer amount of [32P]UTP into the transcript and measuring the radioactivity in the product purified by gel electrophoresis. The receptor mRNA copy number in fetal heart was 74 molecules/cell. We conclude that the IGF-II/M6P receptor mRNA concentration is an important determinant of the level of receptor protein in most tissues.
ASJC Scopus subject areas