Cultured murine lymphoid cells release a PRL-like immunoreactive (IR) protein which may be important in immunity, as anti-PRL antisera inhibit lymphocyte proliferation in vitro. We examined culture supematants (SNs) and cell lysates from concanavalin A (Con A) activated murine thymocytes to identify these proteins. Western blot analysis of cell lysates revealed three specifically-stained PRL-IRs. A doublet of bands at 35.6 and 33.6 kDa was associated with the particulate fraction of the cell. These PRL-IRs were present in lymphocytes independently of mitogen stimulation. In contrast, a 22 kDa PRL-IR was only produced in mitogen stimulated cells, and was specifically immunoprecipitated with anti-PRL antiserum. In addition, all three PRLlike IRs incorporated 35S-methionine in vitro, indicating that they are synthesized by these cells. Only the 22 kDa PRL-like protein was present in culture medium from stimulated cells, suggesting that this may be the PRL bioactivity previously demonstrated in SNs from murine lymphocytes.
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