Interrupting autocrine ligand-receptor binding: comparison between receptor blockers and ligand decoys

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Stimulation of cell behavioral functions by ligand/receptor binding can be accomplished in autocrine fashion, where cells secrete ligand capable of binding to receptors on their own surfaces. This proximal secretion of autocrine ligands near the surface receptors on the secreting cell suggests that control of these systems by inhibitors of receptor/ligand binding may be more difficult than for systems involving exogenous ligands. Hence, it is of interest to predict the conditions under which successful inhibition of cell receptor binding by the autocrine ligand can be expected. Previous theoretical work using a compartmentalized model for autocrine cells has elucidated the conditions under which addition of solution decoys for the autocrine ligand can interrupt cell receptor/ligand binding via competitive binding of the secreted molecules (Forsten, K. E., and D. A. Lauffenburger. 1992. Biophys. J. 61:1–12.) We now apply a similar modeling approach to examine the addition of solution blockers targeted against the cell receptor. Comparison of the two alternative inhibition strategies reveals that a significantly lower concentration of receptor blockers, compared to ligand decoys, will obtain a high degree of inhibition. The more direct interruption scheme characteristic of the receptor blockers may make them a preferred strategy when feasible. © 1992, The Biophysical Society. All rights reserved.




Forsten, K. E., & Lauffenburger, D. A. (1992). Interrupting autocrine ligand-receptor binding: comparison between receptor blockers and ligand decoys. Biophysical Journal, 63(3), 857–861.

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