A monoclonal antibody (2C5) raised against rat liver lysosomal membranes was used to identify a 78-kD glycoprotein that is present in the membranes of both endosomes and lysosomes and, therefore, is designated endolyn-78. In cultures of rat hepatoma (Fu5C8) and kidney cells (NRK), this glycoprotein could not be labeled with [35S]methionine or with [32P]inorganic phosphate but was easily labeled with [35S]cysteine and [3H]mannose. Pulse-chase experiments and determinations of endoglycosidase H (endo H) sensitivity showed that endolyn-78 is derived from a precursor of Mr 58-62 kD that is processed to the mature form with a t1/2 of 15-30 min. The protein has a 22-kD polypeptide backbone that is detected after a brief pulse in tunicamycin-treated cells. During a chase in the presence of the drug, this is converted into an O-glycosylated product of 46 kD that despite the absence of N-linked oligosaccharides is effectively transferred to lysosomes. This demonstrates that the delivery of endolyn-78 to this organelle is not mediated by the mannose-6-phosphate receptor (MPR). Immunocytochemical experiments showed that endolyn-78 is present in the limiting membranes and the interior membranous structures of morphologically identifiable secondary lysosomes that contain the lysosomal hydrolase beta-glucuronidase, lack the MPR, and could not be labeled with alpha-2-macroglobulin at 18.5 degrees C, a temperature which prevents appearance of endocytosed markers in lysosomes. Endolyn-78 was present at low levels in the plasma membrane and in peripheral tubular endosomes, but was prominent in morphologically diverse components of the endosomal compartment (vacuolar endosomes and various types of multivesicular bodies) which acquired alpha-2-macroglobulin at 18.5 degrees C, and frequently contained substantial levels of the MPR and variable levels of beta-glucuronidase. On the other hand, the MPR was very rarely found in endolyn-containing structures that were not labeled with alpha-2-macroglobulin at the low temperature. Thus, the process of lysosomal maturation appears to involve the progressive delivery of lysosomal enzymes to various types of endosomes that may have already received some of the lysosomal membrane proteins. Although endolyn-78 would be one of the proteins added early to endosomes, other lysosomal membrane proteins may be added only to multivesicular endosomes that represent very advanced stages of maturation.

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