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β -endorphin: Surface Binding and Internalization in Thymoma Cells

Lothar Schweigerer, Wilhelm Schmidt, Hansjörg Teschemacher and Christian Gramsch
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Vol. 82, No. 17 (Sep. 1, 1985), pp. 5751-5755
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/26185
Page Count: 5
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
β -endorphin: Surface Binding and Internalization in Thymoma Cells
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Abstract

The opioid peptide β -endorphin binds to specific nonopioid binding sites (Mr 72,000) that are present on the surface of thymoma cells. β -Endorphin is then internalized, apparently via the Mr 72,000 species, and is subsequently found within intracellular, vesicular structures. This process is accompanied by the down-regulation of the Mr 72,000 binding sites. Our findings suggest that β -endorphin may modulate cellular functions, such as T-lymphocyte proliferation, at intracellular rather than cell surface sites.

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