Novel subcellular fractionation procedures and pulse-chase techniques were used to study the intracellular transport of the microvillar membrane hydrolases sucrase-isomaltase and dipeptidylpeptidase IV in the differentiated colon adenocarcinoma cell line Caco-2. The overall rate of transport to the cell surface was two fold faster for dipeptidylpeptidase IV than for sucrase-isomaltase, while no significant differences were observed in transport rates from the site of complex glycosylation to the brush border. The delayed arrival of sucrase-isomaltase in the compartment where complex glycosylation occurs was only in part due to exit from the endoplasmic reticulum. A major slow-down could be ascribed to maturation in and transit of this enzyme through the Golgi apparatus. These results suggest that the observed asynchronism is due to more than one rate-limiting step along the rough endoplasmic reticulum to trans-Golgi pathway.

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