Peroxisome proliferators, which induce proliferation of hepatic peroxisomes, have been shown previously to cause a marked increase in an 80,000 mol wt polypeptide predominantly in the light mitochondrial and microsomal fractions of liver of rodents. We now present evidence to show that this hepatic peroxisome-proliferation-associated polypeptide, referred to as polypeptide PPA-80, is immunochemically identical with the multifunctional peroxisome protein displaying heat-labile enoyl-CoA hydratase activity. This conclusion is based on the following observations: (a) the purified polypeptide PPA-80 and the heat- labile enoyl-CoA hydratase from livers of rats treated with the peroxisome proliferators Wy-14,643 {[4-chloro-6(2,3-xylidino)-2-pyrimidinylthio]acetic acid} exhibit identical minimum molecular weights of approximately 80,000 on SDS polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis; (b) these two proteins are immunochemically identical on the basis of ouchterlony double diffusion, immunotitration, rocket immunoelectrophoresis, and crossed immunoelectrophoresis analysis; and (c) the immunoprecipitates formed by antibodies to polypeptide PPA-80 when dissociated on a sephadex G-200 column yield enoyl-CoA hydratase activity. Whether the polypeptide PPA-80 exhibits the activity of other enzyme(s) of the peroxisomal β-oxidation system such as fatty acyl-CoA oxidase activity or displays immunochemical identity with such enzymes remains to be determined.

The availability of antibodies to polypeptide PPA-80 and enoyl-CoA hydratase facilitated immunofluorescent and immunocytochemical localization of the polypeptide PPA- 80 and enoyl-CoA hydratase in the rat liver. The indirect immunofluorescent studies with these antibodies provided direct visual evidence for the marked induction of polypeptide PPA-80 and enoyl-CoA hydratase in the livers of rats treated with Wy-14,643. The present studies also provide immunocytochemical evidence for the localization of polypeptide PPA- 80 and the heat-labile enoyl-CoA hydratase in the peroxisome, but not in the mitochondria, of hepatic parenchymal cells. These studies, therefore, provide morphological evidence for the existence of fatty acyl-CoA oxidizing system in peroxisomes. An increase of polypeptide PPA-80 on SDS polyacrylamide gel electrophoretic analysis of the subcellular fractions of liver of rodents treated with lipid-lowering drugs should serve as a reliable and sensitive indicator of enhanced peroxisomal β- oxidation system.

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