Molecular Cell Biology
Wiley InterScience Backfile Collection 1832-2000
Chemistry and Pharmacology
The principles of enzyme kinetic analysis were applied to quantitate the relationships among serum-derived growth factors, nutrients, and the rate of survival and multiplication of human fibroblasts in culture. The survival or multiplication rate of a population of cells plotted against an increasing concentration of a growth factor or nutrient in the medium exhibited a hyperbolic pattern that is characteristic of a dissociable, saturable interaction between cells and the ligands. Parameters equivalent to the Km and Vmax of enzyme kinetics were assigned to nutrients and growth factors. When all nutrient concentrations were optimized and in steady state, serum factors accelerated the rate of multiplication of a normal cell population. The same set of nutrients that supported a maximal rate of multiplication in the presence of serum factors supported the maintenance of non-proliferating cells in the absence of serum factors. Therefore, under this condition, serum factors are required for cell division and play a purely regulatory iole in multiplication of the cell population. The quantitative requirement for 18 nutrients of 29 that were examined was significantly higher (P 〈 0.001) for cell multiplication in the presence of serum factors than for cell maintenance in the absence of serum factors. This indicated specific nutrients that may be quantitatively important in cell division processes as well as in cell maintenance. The quantitative requirement for Ca2+, Mg2+, K+, Pi, and 2-oxocarboxylic acid for cell multiplication was modified by serum factors and other purified growth factors. The requirement for over 30 other nutrients could not clearly be related to the level of serum factors in the medium. Serum factors also determined the Ca2+, K+, and 2-oxocarboxylic acid requirement for maintenance of non-proliferating cells. Therefore, when either Ca2+, K+, or 2-oxocarboxylic acid concentration was limiting, factors in serum played a role as cell “survival or maintenance” factors in addition to their role in cell division as “growth regulatory” factors. However, with equivalent levels of serum factors in the medium, the requirement for Ca2+, K+, and 2-oxocarboxylic acids was still much higher for multiplication than for maintenance. Kinetic analysis revealed that the concentrations of individual nutrients modify the quantitative requirement for others for cell multiplication in a specific pattern. Thus, specific quantitative relationships among different nutrients in the medium are important in the control of the multiplication rate of the cell population. When all nutrient concentrations were optimal for multiplication of normal cells, the multiplication response of SV40-virus-transformed cells to serum factors was similar to that of normal cells. When serum factors were held constant, transformed cells required significantly less (P 〈 0.001) of 12 of the 26 nutrients examined. Therefore, the transformed cells only have a growth advantage when the external concentration of specific nutrients limits the multiplication rate of normal cells. Taken together, the results suggest that the control of cell multiplication is intimately related to external concentrations of nutrients. Specific growth regulatory factors may stimulate cell proliferation by modification of the response of normal cells to nutrients. Transforming agents may confer a selective growth advantage on cells by a constitutive alteration of their response to extracellular nutrients.
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