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Multiplication-stimulating activity (MSA) produced by Buffalo rat liver cells (BRL-3A) in culture is related to the somatomedin family of growth regulatory polypeptides. MSA will stimulate glucose transport and DNA synthesis in normal chicken embryo fibroblasts (CIEF) at concentrations of 10-200 ng/ml. MSA found in BRL-3A-conditioned medium, like the somatomedins in serum, does not exist as the free hormone but is' bound to a specific high molecular weight carrier protein. In this report we demonstrate that purified MSA carrier protein (MCP) inhibits the biological activity of MSA on CEF as measured by the stimulation of glucose transport and DNA synthesis. In addition, purified MCP competitively inhibits the binding of 125I-labeled MSA to these cells. In control experiments in which insulin was used as the mitogenic agent, MCP had no effect on these biological responses. These results indicate that the inhibitory effect of MCP is the result of specific interaction with MSA and support the hypothesis that cells may be unresponsive to somatomedins bound to their serum carrier proteins.