A study of the problem of structural variants of proteins and their relative contribution to the expressed immunological and biological activity has been initiated using sheep and buffalo prolactins as models. The feasibility of obtaining immunologically and biologically active prolactin in high yields from the discarded ’acid pellet’ of sheep and buffalo pituitaries has been demonstrated. This permits use of the same batch of glands for purifying lutropin, follitropin and prolactin as side fractions. The major component in preparations of buffalo prolactin has a molecular size of 24 kDa. The preparations were active in a radioligand binding inhibition assay and in a rat liver based radioreceptor assay. Charge and size isomers of sheep prolactin and buffalo prolactin have been observed. The reference sheep prolactin did not, in preliminary work, give any indication of being glycosylated. However radioactive sulphate was found to be incorporated into prolactin-rich fractions of sheep and buffalo pituitariesin vitro. By physico-chemical and immunochemical criteria the [35S]-labelled material was similar to standard reference prolactin. The structural implications of sulphation have been probed.
Volume 45, 2020
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