Receptor-mediated endocytosis may represent an important mechanism whereby peptide hormones exert their biological effects. The ability of recombinant insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-I to be internalized by cultured cells was evaluated in BRL-3A2 cells, a rat liver-derived cell line which lacks insulin receptors. Since recombinant IGF-I does not bind to the Type II IGF receptor, all specific binding of 125I-IGF-I in BRL-3A2 cells represents binding to the Type I receptor. Exposure of BRL-3A2 cells to IGF-I resulted in a rapid 50% deownregulation of Type I IGF receptors. Only one-half of these binding sites were sensitive to treatment with trypsin, a phenomenon which indicates that the peptide and its receptor were internalized after the cells were exposed to IGF-I. In conclusion, these experiments demonstrate that IGF-I can be internalized by cultured cells via the Type I IGF receptor, and suggest that IGF hormone action may be exerted by receptor-mediated endocytosis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Biochemistry, medical