Wheat germ agglutinin and concanavalin A inhibit the response of human fibroblasts to peptide growth factors by a post-receptor mechanism.
J Cell Physiol. 1985 Sep;124(3):474-80. PMID: 2995421
The effect of plant lectins on amino acid uptake and DNA synthesis in cultured human skin fibroblasts stimulated by various peptide mitogens was studied. Wheat germ agglutinin (WGA), at a concentration of 5 micrograms/ml, which by itself had little effect on 3H-aminoisobutyric acid (AIB) uptake, markedly inhibited stimulation of 3H-AIB uptake by somatomedin-C, insulin, epidermal growth factor (EGF) and platelet-derived growth factor. This inhibition could not be overcome by increasing the concentration of peptide added. Neither WGA nor concanavalin A (Con A) significantly affected basal 3H-thymidine incorporation. However both lectins, at concentrations of 5-20 micrograms/ml, decreased EGF- and insulin-stimulated DNA synthesis while succinyl Con A, a divalent lectin derivative, did not. The inhibitory effects of lectins on mitogenic stimulation were reversed by alpha-methyl mannose (Con A) or N-acetylglucosamine (WGA), and were not due to a reduction in the binding of growth factors to their receptors. It is concluded that certain lectins noncompetitively inhibit the response of human fibroblasts to multiple peptide mitogens at the post-receptor level, possibly by interfering with lateral mobility and aggregation of mitogen-receptor complexes.