Chick skeletal muscle cells in tissue culture were fixed and treated with saponin to allow [125I]alpha-bungarotoxin access into the cells while preserving ultrastructure. The kinetics of binding of iodinated alpha-bungarotoxin to intracellular acetylcholine (ACh) receptors and to surface A Ch receptors were comparable. About half of the intracellular ACh receptors are newly synthesized and in the pathway leading to incorporation into the plasma membrane. Correlated electron microscope autoradiographic and kinetic studies of this receptor population suggest that a substantial fraction of the newly synthesized ACh receptors are located in the Golgi apparatus, where they reside for approx. 2 h.

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