We have isolated three independent Chinese hamster ovary cell mutants (B3853, I223, and M311) with temperature-sensitive, pleiotropic defects in receptor-mediated endocytosis. Activities affected at 41 degrees C include uptake via the D-mannose 6-phosphate receptor, accumulation of Fe from diferric transferrin, uptake of alpha 2-macroglobulin, compartmentalization of newly synthesized acid hydrolases, resistance to ricin, and sensitivity to diphtheria and Pseudomonas toxins and modeccin. The three mutants also displayed decreased sialylation of some secreted glycoproteins at 41 degrees C, reminiscent of the nonconditional mutant DTG1-5-4 that showed both endocytic and Golgi-associated defects (Robbins, A.R., C. Oliver, J.L. Bateman, S.S. Krag, C.J. Galloway, and I. Mellman, 1984, J. Cell Biol., 99:1296-1308). Phenotypic changes were detectable within 30 min after transfer of the mutants to 41 degrees C; maximal alteration of most susceptible functions was obtained 4 h after temperature shift. At 39 degrees C, the mutants exhibited many but not all of the changes manifested at 41 degrees C; resistance to diphtheria and Pseudomonas toxins required the higher temperature. Analysis of cell hybrids showed that B3853 and DTG1-5-4 are in one complementation group ("End1"); M311 and I223 are in another ("End2"). In the End1 mutants, loss of endocytosis correlated with complete loss of ATP-dependent endosomal acidification in vitro; in the End 2 mutants partial loss of acidification was observed. At the nonpermissive temperature, residual levels of endocytic activity in B3853 and M311 were nearly identical; thus, we conclude that the differences measured in endosomal acidification in vitro reflect the different genetic loci affected, rather than the relative severity of the genetic lesions. The mutations in M311 and I223 appear to have different effects on the same protein; in I223 (but not in M311) the full spectrum of phenotypic changes could be produced at the permissive temperature by inhibition of protein synthesis.

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