Human serum contains a high affinity GH-binding protein (GHBP) whose amino-terminal sequence is identical to the extracellular domain of the GH receptor. Current methods that measure GHBP are laborious, require size or charcoal separation of the GH/GHBP complex, and may be influenced by ambient GH concentrations. We have developed a novel assay method that allows quantitation of the total amount of functional GHBP in serum or plasma. The assay can also be used to measure the concentration of the circulating GH/GHBP complex. An anti-GHBP monoclonal antibody, which recognizes both free GHBP and GH-bound GHBP, is used to capture the GHBP on a microtiter plate. Recombinant human GH is added to saturate all binding sites, and an anti-GH antibody conjugated with horseradish peroxidase is used to detect the amount of GH (endogenous and exogenous) bound to the GHBP. The same procedure, but without incubation with GH, allows measurement of the endogenous GH/GHBP complex. The assay is sensitive (detection range, 31-2000 pmol/L), with average inter- and intraassay precisions of 11.3% and 7.3%, respectively. Measurements in random blood samples from 16 healthy adults showed that all subjects had clearly detectable GHBP concentrations (range, 65.8-305.6 pmol/L). In contrast, GHBP levels were undetectable in samples from 2 patients with Laron-type dwarfism. We believe that this ligand-mediated immunofunctional assay, which combines the simplicity and specificity of an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay with the ability to detect only biochemically active binding protein, will be useful for studies of the role of the GHBP in health and disease.
View details for Web of Science ID A1991GW87900011
View details for PubMedID 1955503