The effects of endothelin-1 (ET-1), a potent vasoconstrictor and mitogen to various cell types, on proliferation and differentiated functions of the murine Leydig tumor cell line MA-10 were investigated. Kinetic binding experiments at room temperature showed that [125I] ET-1 bound to MA-10 cells and reached equilibrium in 2 h. The data from competitive binding experiments yielded an apparent single class of high affinity binding sites characterized by a Kd and maximum binding capacity of 1 nM and 59 fmol/106 cells, respectively. For steroidogenic assays, cells were incubated with ET-1 (1 pM to 1 μM) and with epidermal growth factor (10 ng/ml) for 4 h at 37 C, and the progesterone levels in the medium were measured by RIA. Like epidermal growth factor, ET-1 caused about a 6-fold increase in progesterone production. ET-1 also enhanced the transient expression of the protooncogenes c-jun and c-myc by 3- and 2-fold, respectively. For proliferation studies, ET-1 (1 pM to 1 μM) was added to quiescent MA-10 cells for 24 h, and cell counts were performed; no increase in cell number was observed. The results of this study demonstrate that MA-10 cells possess high affinity binding sites for ET-1 and that ET-1 stimulates progesterone production and protooncogene expression, but not mitosis in this cell line.
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