An electron microscope autoradiographic study of the carbohydrate recognition systems in rat liver. II. Intracellular fates of the 125I-ligands

A. L. Hubbard, H. Stukenbrok

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Electron microscope autoradiographic and biochemical methods were used to study the intracellular fates of several 125I-glucoproteins, known to be specifically bound and internalized by the different cell types in the liver. At the earliest times examined (1-2 min), 125I-asialo-glycoproteins (ASGP) were localized predominantly along the sinusoidal front of hepatocytes. Analysis of the distribution of autoradiographic grains indicated that: (a) ~40-60% of the 125I-ligand could be ascribed to the plasmalemma; (b) a significant fraction had already been internalized; yet (c) very little 125I-ligand was present in the lysosome-Golgi region. Between 4 and 15 min after administration of 125I-ASGPs, there was a dramatic redistribution of autoradiographic grains from regions of the plasmalemma and peripheral cytoplasm (30% decrease) to the lysosome-Golgi region (30% increase). At longer times (30 min), there was continued drainage of 125I-ASGP into this region. The grain density over secondary lysosomes was 60-90 times higher than that over recognizable Golgi elements, clearly indicating that lysosomes were the ultimate destination of the 125I-ASGP. However, no more than 60% of the total 125I-ligand could be localized to lysosome-rich regions of the hepatocyte, with the remaining 40% primarily in the intermediate cytoplasm. Biochemical evidence for proteolysis of the internalized 125I-ASGP (presumably within lysosomes) was obtained when [125I]-mono-iodotyrosine was found in the liver (i.e., hepatocytes) at times later than 15 min. The temporal redistribution observed for mannose and N-acetylglucosamine-terminated glycoproteins (ahexosamino-orosomucoid and agalacto-orosomucoid, respectively) in endothelial cells indicated that the 125I-ligands resided in macro-pinocytic vesicles (1-15 min) before their ultimate residence in dense bodies (15 min). The same 125I-ligands were also localized to structures resembling secondary lysosomes in Kupffer cells. The lysosomal nature of these organelles was implied from the appearance of [125I]mono-iodotyrosine in the liver at later times. 125I-β-glucuronidase followed the same intracellular pathway in both cell types but was not degraded.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-81
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Cell Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1979
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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