Influence of cell density and receptor number on the binding and distribution of cell surface epidermal growth factor receptors

C. A. Kuszynski, K. A. Miller, A Angie Rizzino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations


Previous studies have shown that cell density influences the expression of receptors for at least four growth factors. The data presented in this report demonstrate that epidermal growth factor receptors are regulated differently on cells expressing over a million receptors as opposed to cells expressing approximately fivefold fewer receptors. Specifically, we show that BT-20, MDA-468, and A-431-R1 cells, which exhibit a large number of epidermal growth factor receptors, preferentially down-regulate the high affinity class of these receptors as cell density increases. In addition, we show that these cells express cell surface epidermal growth factor receptors that are localized predominately to the periphery of the cells. In contrast, A-549 and BSC-1 cells, which exhibit fewer cell surface epidermal growth factor receptors and which reduce all affinity classes of epidermal growth factor receptors as cell density increases, exhibit a diffuse cell surface distribution of these receptors at both low and high densities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)708-713
Number of pages6
JournalIn Vitro Cellular & Developmental Biology - Animal: Journal of the Society for In Vitro Biology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1993



  • cell density
  • density induced down regulation
  • epidermal growth factor receptor
  • image analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology

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