Density-induced down regulation of epidermal growth factor receptors

A. Rizzino, P. Kazakoff, J. Nebelsick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Previous studies have shown that cell density can regulate the binding of several growth factors. To determine whether cell density exerts a uniform effect on the expression of epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptors, seven cell lines were examined in detail. For each cell line, EGF binding was found to decreases as cell density increases. Scatchard analysis of the binding data reveals that decrease in EGF binding are due to reductions in the number of cell surface EGF receptors. The only apparent exception is the effect of cell density on the binding of EGF to A-431 cells. For these cells, increases in cell density lead to two effects: decreases in the number of high affinity EGF receptors and increases in the total number of EGF receptors. In addition to the effects of cell density on EGF receptors, it was determined that increases in cell density can coordinately down-regulate receptors for as many as four different growth factors. Overall, the findings described in this report for EGF and those previously described for transforming growth factor type-β (TGF-β) and fibroblast growth factor (FGF) demonstrate the existence of a common mechanism for down-regulating grothh factor receptors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)537-542
Number of pages6
JournalIn Vitro Cellular and Developmental Biology - Animal
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1990


  • cell density
  • epidermal growth factor
  • fibroblast growth factor
  • platelet-derived growth factor
  • receptors
  • transforming growth factor-β

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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