Estrogen-dependent Leydig cell protein recognized by monoclonal antibody to MCF-7 cell line

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Science  26 Oct 1984:
Vol. 226, Issue 4673, pp. 445-446
DOI: 10.1126/science.6387908


A protein (27,000 molecular weight) was previously found in rat Leydig cells after treatment with estradiol (E2) and human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in vitro. The effect of hCG occurred through increased E2 production. This hormone-regulated rat testicular protein was compared to an estrogen-regulated protein of similar physical characteristics isolated from a human mammary cancer cell line (MCF-7) and present in normal human estrogen target organs. The Leydig cells from rat and human tissue showed specific immunofluorescence and immunoperoxidase staining in the cytoplasm upon incubation with a monoclonal antibody (C11) to the estrogen-regulated protein from MCF-7 cells. Leydig cells after exposure to E2 or hCG showed the highest fluorescence intensity; this intensity was reduced by treatment with Tamoxifen. No reaction was associated with other testicular cells. The estrogen-regulated protein from human cell lines is therefore immunologically similar to that from the rat Leydig cell. The monoclonal antibody should be useful for further characterization of the Leydig cell protein.