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A. M. Lucas, A. J. Thody and S. Shuster


The role of protein kinase C in melanosome dispersion was examined using the melanophores of the lizard Anolis carolinensis and an in-vitro rate method of bioassay. The phorbol ester 12-O-tetradecanoyl-phorbol-13-acetate (TPA), which directly activates protein kinase C, was able to potentiate the melanophore response to α-MSH in a dose-dependent manner. Similarly, the stimulatory response to forskolin, which activates the adenylate cyclase catalytic subunit, was also potentiated by TPA. The response of the melanophore to cyclic AMP, however, remained unaltered by any dose of TPA. We thus propose that the potentiation of α-MSH potency by TPA is through an interaction of protein kinase C with adenylate cyclase and, more specifically, that this interaction may be at the level of the linkage of the nucleotide regulatory subunit Ns with the catalytic moiety C of adenylate cyclase.

J. Endocr. (1987) 112, 283–287

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C. Lucas, L. N. Bald, M. C. Martin, R. B. Jaffe, D. W. Drolet, M. Mora-Worms, G. Bennett, A. B. Chen and P. D. Johnston


A sensitive and specific double-antibody enzyme-linked immunoassay, using a synthetic analogue of human relaxin for standard and immunogen, was developed for the measurement of human relaxin (hRLX) in serum and plasma. No cross-reactivity was observed for human insulin, human insulin-like growth factor-I, hGH, human chorionic gonadotropin, hFSH, hLH or human prolactin. The assay was used to monitor RLX concentrations in samples from men, non-pregnant and pregnant women, and in pregnant rhesus monkeys infused with hRLX. RLX was not detected in serum from men nor from non-pregnant women, while a concentration of 600 ng/l was measured in pooled sera from two pregnant women (pregnancies achieved by in-vitro fertilization). Immunoreactive RLX (1·1 μg/g) was found in human corpora lutea taken from ectopic pregnancies at 7 weeks. In an experiment with a pregnant rhesus monkey infused with human RLX analogue, less than 1·5% of the maternal concentration was measured in the fetal circulation. Even though preliminary, these data suggest a low level of transfer of human analogue relaxin across the placenta in a rhesus monkey. Further studies of the physiology of RLX in human pregnancy will be facilitated by the availability of this immunoassay.

Journal of Endocrinology (1989) 120, 449–457