Transforming growth factor-beta. A very potent inhibitor of myoblast differentiation, identical to the differentiation inhibitor secreted by Buffalo rat liver cells
Journal of Biological Chemistry
Transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) is now known to have a number of actions in addition to the induction of phenotypic transformation in fibroblastic cells. In this paper, we characterize its inhibition of differentiation in rat myoblasts of Yaffe's L6 strain and demonstrate its identity or very close similarity to the differentiation inhibitor (DI) secreted by Buffalo rat liver cells cultured in serum-free medium. At concentrations as low as 60 pg/ml, TGF-beta gave detectable
... of differentiation measured as myoblast fusion and creatine kinase elevation; maximal inhibition was observed at and above 0.5 ng/ml (20 pM). The inhibition persisted as long as fresh TGF-beta was added at 48-h intervals, but it was reversed upon removal of the factor. By itself or in the presence of mitogens, TGF-beta had no mitogenic activity in the L6 cells. Concentration dependencies of human TGF-beta and the rat DI were closely parallel in three assays: inhibition of myoblast differentiation, stimulation of normal rat kidney cell growth in soft agar, and competition for displacement of labeled TGF-beta from binding sites on A549 human lung carcinoma cells. We conclude that most if not all of the DI activity found in medium conditioned by Buffalo rat liver cells can be attributed to the presence of TGF-beta or a very similar molecule. These observations also offer a potentially useful approach to study the control of myogenesis; the process(es) can be blocked in cloned L6 myoblasts by incubation with very small quantities of a pure protein in fully defined serum-free medium.