Previous studies (Rindler, M. J., I. E., Ivanov, H. Plesken, and D. D. Sabatini, 1985, J. Cell Biol., 100: 136-151; Rindler, M. J., I. E. Ivanov, H. Plesken, E. J. Rodriguez-Boulan, and D. D. Sabatini, 1984, J. Cell Biol., 98: 1304-1319) have demonstrated that in polarized Madin-Darby canine kidney cells infected with vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) or influenza virus the viral envelope glycoproteins G and HA are segregated to the basolateral and apical plasma membrane domains, respectively, where budding of the corresponding viruses takes place. Furthermore, it has been shown that this segregation of the glycoproteins reflects the polarized delivery of the newly synthesized polypeptides to each surface domain. In transfection experiments using eukaryotic expression plasmids that contain cDNAs encoding the viral glycoproteins, it is now shown that even in the absence of other viral components, both proteins are effectively segregated to the appropriate cell surface domain. In transfected cells, the HA glycoprotein was almost exclusively localized in the apical cell surface, whereas the G protein, although preferentially localized in the basolateral domains, was also present in lower amounts, in the apical surfaces of many cells. Using transfected and infected cells, it was demonstrated that, after reaching the cell surface, the G protein, but not the HA protein, undergoes interiorization by endocytosis. Thus, in the presence of chloroquine, a drug that blocks return of interiorized plasma membrane proteins to the cell surface, the G protein was quantitatively trapped in endosome- or lysosome-like vesicles. The sequestration of G was a rapid process that was completed in many cells by 1-2 h after chloroquine treatment. The fact that in transfected cells the surface content of G protein was not noticeably reduced during a 5-h incubation with cycloheximide, a protein synthesis inhibitor that did not prevent the effect of chloroquine, implies that normally, G protein molecules are not only interiorized but are also recycled to the cell surface.

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