Normal human keratinocytes as well as human squamous cell carci nomas produce a parathyroid hormone-like protein (PLP). However, PLP production by these cells is not a constant phenomenon. Since nothing is known about factors which regulate the production of PLP, in vitro studies were performed with normal keratinocytes and squamous carcinoma cell lines in order to establish conditions under which PLP production may vary. PLP was measured as cyclic AMP production in parathyroid hormone target cells (osteoblasts) which could be inhibited by a parathyroid hormone antagonist. The presence of PLP was confirmed using a radioimmunoassay specific for PLP. Results from the bioassay correlated very well with the data obtained by radioimmunoassay for PLP. The results confirm that human squamous carcinoma cells and normal keratinocytes produce PLP. PLP production appeared to be very sensitiv
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