Loss of α2-macroglobulin and epidermal growth factor surface binding induced by phenothiazines and naphthalene sulfonamides Academic Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Calmodulin
  • Endocytosis
  • Phenothiazines
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Receptors, Immunologic
  • Sulfonamides


  • We have found that certain naphthalenesulfonamides [e.g., N-6(-aminohexyl)-5-chloro-1-naphthalenesulfonamide (W-7)] and phenothiazines [e.g., trifluoperazine (TFP)] induce a loss of cell-surface receptors for alpha 2-macroglobulin, and epidermal growth factor (EGF) in fibroblasts. The loss of alpha 2-macroglobulin receptors is independent of receptor occupancy and is rapidly reversed upon removal of these agents from the culture medium. The extent of EGF receptor loss is less than for alpha 2-macroglobulin, and the EGF receptors do not reappear at the surface when W-7 is removed. Receptor loss was measured as a change in the capacity for binding iodinated ligands; no change in affinity of binding was observed. This receptor loss could reflect inactivation of receptors or internalization. W-7 did not induce a loss of cell surface beta 2-microglobulin, a membrane protein which is excluded from coated pits and which is not internalized, indicating that the effect of W-7 was specific for membrane receptors and not a result of bulk depletion of plasma membrane. The loss of alpha 2-macroglobulin and EGF receptors occurs at concentrations which do not cause an increase in the pH of endocytic vesicles or the cytoplasm, indicating that these agents act by a mechanism distinct from the effect of other weak bases. Since both TFP and W-7 are potent inhibitors of calmodulin, we investigated the possibility that inhibition of calmodulin was responsible for the loss of receptors. Three lines of evidence suggest that calmodulin inhibition is not responsible for the inhibition of binding and endocytosis: 1) Promethazine, a phenothiazine that is a poor inhibitor of calmodulin, is nearly as effective as TFP at inhibiting endocytosis; calmidazolium, a potent inhibitor of several calmodulin functions, did not cause a loss of binding; 2) the microinjection of calmodulin into cells did not reverse the effects of W-7; using pressure microinjection, we introduced up to a 100-fold excess of calmodulin over native levels into individual gerbil fibroma cells; using rhodamine-labeled alpha 2-macroglobulin, we saw that the W-7 induced inhibition of receptor-mediated endocytosis was the same in injected and uninjected cells; 3) we injected calcineurin, a calmodulin-binding protein, into cells (1-3 pg/cell) and observed no effect on the receptor-mediated endocytosis of rhodamine-labeled alpha 2-macroglobulin. These data indicated that cell surface receptor numbers can be regulated by a cellular component that is not cytoplasmic calmodulin but that shares some drug sensitivities with calmodulin.

publication date

  • March 30, 1984



  • Academic Article



  • eng

PubMed ID

  • 6319437

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 193

end page

  • 202


  • 118


  • 2