Purification, biochemical and somatogenic characterisation of ovine placental lactogen
Ovine placental lactogen (oPL) is secreted by the placenta into both the fetal and maternal compartments. Its biological function(s) during pregnancy and the mechanisms involved are still unclear. A purification procedure was developed for oPL from sheep placental cotyledons of late gestation. Four procedures were attempted to obtain homogeneous oPL. Recoveries of oPL and total protein were measured throughout the several procedures using a specific oPL RIA and the Bradford protein estimation respectively. The third and fourth procedures resulted in homogeneous oPL and a partial amino acid sequence was obtained from the fourth procedure. In the successful procedures, the placental tissue was extracted with 0.1 M ammonium bicarbonate pH 8.5. A pH precipitation of the soluble fraction was performed, followed by 60% saturation with ammonium sulphate. Further separation steps involved chromatogaphic procedures. Carboxymethylcellulose (CM32) cation exchange was performed batchwise at pH 5.6. Subsequently chromatofocusing was performed to elute proteins in order of their isoelectric points. This was carried out using a pH gadient of 0.9 to 6.0. The final chromatographic step was reverse-phase high performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC) using a C4 column. To obtain homogeneous oPL in the third procedure, the partially purified oPL was subjected to SDS polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and the separated proteins were transferred to nitrocellulose membrane. The homogeneous oPL was eluted from the membrane, however, sequencing was unsuccessful. It was assumed that the N terminal of oPL was blocked. Homogeneous oPL was obtained in the fourth procedure by electrophoretic elution from the Hunkapiller gel system performed at 4°C. The oPL was digested with trypsin, the fragments were separated by RP-HPLC chromatography and two peptides were sequenced. Peptide 1: F D E Q Y G Q G I Peptide 2: Y I N C H T Several strategies were attempted to provide more homogeneous oPL to enable more sequencing. The partially purified oPL fractions from each of these attempts were pooled and electrophoresed on an SDS polyacrylamide gel. The section of acrylamide containing the oPL band was homogenised and a trypsin digest was performed. The digested oPL was separated from the gel pieces, filtered through a Sep-Pak filter and the fragments were separated by RP-HPLC. The yield of oPL was low, but sufficient homogeneous oPL was obtained to provide a partial amino acid sequence from tryptic peptides. A further two peptides provided sequences. Peptide 3: (L) A G E M V N R F D E Q Y G Q G I Peptide 4: (L) Q P G K C Q I P L Q S L F Collaborators from Genentech Inc (San Francisco USA) used partially purified oPL produced from the present study and also obtained homogeneous oPL (Colosi et al., 1989). Complementary DNA clones of oPL were isolated and expressed in mammalian cells by recombinant DNA techniques (Colosi et al., 1989). These clones were sequenced, demonstrating that the full sequence of oPL consists of 198 amino acids preceded by a 38 amino acid sequence signal. Recombinant oPL was generated by Colosi et al. (1989) which provided sufficient material to perform physiological studies in vivo. The somatogenic effects of recombinant oPL were investigated in the growth hormone (GH) deficient dwarf rat and compared to identical doses of recombinant bovine GH (bGH) in 3 independent studies. Both oPL and bGH treatments resulted in an increase (p<0.05) in body weight gain compared to that in saline treated controls, with oPL treatment being more potent than bGH (p<0.05). In promoting linear growth, oPL was more potent (p<0.05) than bGH in some instances. Nitrogen content of dry carcass matter was increased with oPL treatment compared to saline (p<0.05), with a nonsignificant increase in bGH treated animals. Carcass fat was similarly reduced by both oPL and bGH treatment (p<0.05) compared to saline. Serum insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) concentrations were increased significantly (p<0.05) by both oPL and bGH treatments, with a significantly greater effect of oPL suggested in one study. No increase in hepatic IGF-I mRNA was evident with either treatment, suggesting that the increase in serum IGF-I is due to posttranscriptional mechanisms. The expression of IGF binding protein 3 (IGFBP-3) hepatic mRNA was increased (p<0.05) with bGH treatment compared to that after saline treatment, but was unaffected by opL treatment, indicating regulation by GH at the transcriptional level. The binding of [125I]bGH to hepatic membrane preparations demonstrated no difference in specific binding compared to that in saline controls. However, [125I]oPL specific binding was greater in oPL treated animals (p<0.05). Animals treated with bGH had reduced (p<0.05) hepatic GH receptor mRNA compared to saline controls, but oPL treatment had no effect. Thus, oPL is a potent anabolic and lipolytic agent in the dwarf rat, exerting greater somatogenic effects on some parameters than bGH. The studies in this thesis have described biochemical and biological characterisitics of oPL. The amino acid sequence of oPL is more closely related to prolactin (PRL) than to GH (Colosi et al., 1989). However, oPL has potent somatogenic activities in the GH deficient dwarf rat. Our data suggest differences in receptor binding and effects on GH receptor and IGFBP-3 expression with these two treatments, raising the possibility of actions through different pathways or differential effects at the GH receptor level. These results do not fully resolve whether GH and PRL exert all effects through a single receptor or whether there is a separate PL receptor.