We previously suggested that after synthesis, proparathormone is transferred from rough endoplasmic reticulum to the Golgi region where its conversion to parathormone occurs. We have attempted to define more closely this transfer process. In the first type of study, bovine parathyroid slices were incubated with [3H]leucine for 10 min and then radioisotope labeling was restricted by addition of a large excess of nonradioactive leucine. Under these conditions, more than 90% of the initially labeled proparathormone was converted to parathormone in 40 min. Lowered temperature in the chase period markedly inhibited the conversion. Several chemical agents were employed individually in the chase period to examine their effect on the conversion process. Antimycin A, dinitrophenol, oligomycin, and anaerobiosis (N2) inhibited the conversion, whereas sodium flouride and cycloheximide had no effect. In the second type of study, parathyroid slices were incubated with [3H]leucine for the entire incubation period. Lowered temperature and inhibitors of energy metabolism and microtubular function all lengthened the interval (lag) between the initial synthesis of [3H]parathormone. Cycloheximide, Tris, and chloroquine decreased the rates of protein synthesis and conversion, respectively, but none had any effect on the lag. We interpret the lag to represent the time of transit for proparathormone from rough endoplasmic reticulum to the Golgi region. We conclude that this transfer process is independent of the synthesis of the prohormone and its conversion to the hormone. Moreover, this translocation requires metabolic energy and appears to be mediated by microtubules.

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