Glucocorticoid receptor-like antigen in lymphoma cell membranes: correlation to cell lysis

Science  24 Apr 1987:
Vol. 236, Issue 4800, pp. 456-461
DOI: 10.1126/science.3563523


S-49 mouse lymphoma cells undergo lysis when treated with glucocorticoids; the mechanism of this effect is not understood. A protein was detected in the plasma membrane of these cells by means of direct immunofluorescent labeling with a monoclonal antibody to the soluble glucocorticoid receptor. Cellular heterogeneity in the content of this glucocorticoid receptor-like molecule was evident. By immunoadsorption to antibody-coated tissue culture plates, the cells were separated into populations positive (100%) and depleted (38%) for this membrane antigen. Gel electrophoresis, specific immunoblot, and autoradiographic (binding of [3H]dexamethasone mesylate) analysis of the membrane proteins from the membrane antigen-positive group revealed multiple protein bands ranging in size from 85 to 145 kilodaltons. Furthermore, comparison of the glucocorticoid sensitivity of these groups of cells showed complete lysis of the membrane antigen-positive cells and only partial lysis of the antigen-deficient group, which suggests that the lysis response of cells to glucocorticoids is mediated by a glucocorticoid receptor-like molecule located in the plasma membrane.