Purification and characterisation of two cancer cachexia factors
Cachexia induced by the MAC 16 tumour, has been shown to be mediated by the production of tumour-derived circulatory catabolic factors, and the further elucidation of the structure of these molecules contributes towards the main content of this report. Thus, a factor with in vitro lipid-mobilising activity has been purified from the MAC 16 tumour, and has been found to have similarities to tumour-derived lipolytic factors published to date. Further work demonstrated that this factor was also purifiable from the urine of a patient with pancreatic cancer, and that it was capable of inducing weight loss in non tumour-bearing mice. Sequence analysis of the homogeneous material revealed an identity to Zn--2-glycoprotein, the significance of which is discussed. An additional factor, first detected as a result of its specific reactivity with a monoclonal antibody produced by fusion of splenocytes from MAC 16 tumour-bearing mice with mouse BALB/c myeloma cells, was identified as a co-purificant during studies to isolate the lipolytic factor. Subsequent purification of this material to homogeneity resulted in the determination of 18 of the N-terminal amino acids and revealed the highly glycosylated nature of its structure. Thus, this material (P24) was found to have an apparent molecular mass of 24kD of which 2kD was due to protein, while the remainder (92%) was due to the presence of carbohydrate groups. Sequence analysis of the protein core of P24 revealed an identity with Streptococcal pre-absorbing antigen (PA-Ag) in 11 of the amino acids, and the significance of this is discussed. P24 was shown to induce muscle protein breakdown in vitro and to induce cachexia in vivo, as measured by the depletion of fat (29%) and muscle (14%) tissue in the absence of a reduction of food and water intake.