We have localized transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) in many cells and tissues with immunohistochemical methods, using two polyclonal antisera raised to different synthetic preparations of a peptide corresponding to the amino-terminal 30 amino acids of TGF-beta 1. These two antibodies give distinct staining patterns; the staining by anti-CC(1-30) is intracellular. This differential staining pattern is consistently observed in several systems, including cultured tumor cells; mouse embryonic, neonatal, and adult tissues; bovine fibropapillomas; and human colon carcinomas. The extracellular staining by anti-CC(1-30) partially resembles that seen with an antibody to fibronectin, suggesting that extracellular TGF-beta may be bound to matrix proteins. The intracellular staining by anti-LC(1-30) is similar to that seen with two other antibodies raised to peptides corresponding to either amino acids 266-278 of the TGF-beta 1 precursor sequence or to amino acids 50-75 of mature TGF-beta 1, suggesting that anti-LC(1-30) stains sites of TGF-beta synthesis. Results from RIA and ELISAs indicate that anti-LC(1-30) and anti-CC(1-30) recognize different epitopes of this peptide and of TGF-beta 1 itself.

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