Serine proteases or esterases released from cell cultures into the growth medium were converted to radioactive derivatives by active site labeling with tritiated DFP, both in the presence and absence of other competing active site reagents. The individual labeled enzymes were then identified by SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and scintillation autoradiography. Conditioned medium from embryonal mouse fibroblasts transformed by mouse sarcoma virus contained five serine enzymes that were not present in medium from normal cells; two serine enzymes were released by both cell types, and one serine enzyme was found only in medium from normal cells. Two of the enzymes released by transformed cells were identified as plasminogen activators; these accounted for most of the serine enzyme labeling in transformed culture media and for most of the serine enzyme difference between normal and transformed cultures. The culture fluids from two cell strains of human neoplastic origin were examined by the same method. A rhabdomyosarcoma strain released eight serine enzymes (mol wt ranging from 22,500 to 102,000), four of which were plasminogen activators; seven serine enzymes (mol wt 26,000-102,000), including two plasminogen activators, were detected in medium from human melanoma cultures. In terms of electrophoretic mobility two of the plasminogen activators from rhabdomyosarcoma were identical with those from melanoma cultures, while the remaining two rhabdomyosarcoma activators coincided with activators found in commerical urokinase.

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