Two synthetic peptides from the predicted sequence of the human c-erbB-2 protein were synthesized and used to raise antisera in rabbits. The sequences chosen were identical to those in the homologous rat c-neu protein. The antibodies produced reacted with the immunizing peptides in ELISA but showed little or no cross-reaction with the partly homologous peptides found in equivalent positions in the human EGF receptor. Both antipeptide antibodies, and a monoclonal antibody (MAb) specific for the rat new protein, immuno-precipitated a 185-kDa protein from 35S-methionine-labelled lysates prepared from a rat cell line known to express high levels of the c-neu protein. The antipeptide antibodies also recognized a protein of the same size in Western blots. In addition, both antipeptide antibodies immunoprecipitated a 190-kDa protein from labelled cell lysates prepared from human and monkey cells. Antibodies to one of the peptides, which showed no detectable cross-reaction with human, rat or monkey EGF receptor, were used to examine the expression of the c-erbB-2 protein on a variety of cultured cell types. Eleven transformed, I non-established and 2 immortalized cell types were examined by immunoprecipitation for their level of expression of the c-erbB-2 protein and of the EGF receptor. The numbers of EGF receptors varied widely between different cell lines, whereas the level of the c-erbB-2 protein, which was found on all of the cell types examined, was more constant. The number of c-erbB-2 molecules present was estimated by autoradiography to be about 100,000 per cell. The antibodies were then used to examine the location and level of expression of the human c-erbB-2 and rat c-neu proteins in normal tissues. Immunohistochemical staining showed that the c-erbB-2 protein was highly expressed in rat kidney proximal tubules and loop of Henle. The c-enbB-2 protein was also present on normal human epithelial cells but in some cases with a different distribution to that of the EGF receptor.
International Journal of Cancer 08/1987; 40(2):246 - 254. DOI:10.1002/ijc.2910400221 · 6.20 Impact Factor