The localization of the guinea pig eosinophil major basic protein (MBP) within the cell was investigated by the use of immunoelectron microscopy and by isolation of the granule crystalloids. First, by immunoperoxidase electron microscopy, we found that the MBP of eosinophil granules is contained within the crystalloid core of the granule. Specific staining of cores was present when rabbit antiserum to MBP was used as the first stage antibody in a double antibody staining procedure, whereas staining was not seen when normal rabbit serum was used as the first stage antibody. Second, crystalloids were isolated from eosinophil granules by disruption in 0.1% Triton X-100 and centrifugation through a cushion of 50% sucrose. Highly purified core preparations yielded essentially a single band when analyzed by electrophoresis on polyacrylamide gels containing 1% sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS). The E1%1cm of the core protein was 26.8 +/- 1.0 (X +/- SEM); the E1%1cm for the MBP was 26.3. The core protein could not be distinguished from the MBP by radioimmunoassay (RIA) and essentially all of the protein in the core preparations could be accounted for as MBP. The results indicate that the MBP is contained in the core of the guinea pig eosinophil granule and that it is probably the only protein present in the core.

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