The relationship between Golgi and cell surface membranes of intestinal cells was studied. These membranes were isolated from intestinal crypt cells and villus cells. The villus cell membranes consisted of microvillus membrane, a Golgi-rich fraction, and two membrane fractions interpreted as representing lateral-basal membranes. The villus cell microvillus membrane was purified by previously published techniques while the other membranes were obtained from isolated cells by differential centrifugation and density gradient velocity sedimentation. The two membrane fractions obtained from villus cells and considered to be lateral-basal membranes were enriched for Na+,K+-ATPase activity, but one also showed enrichment in glycosyltransferase activity. The Golgi membrane fraction was enriched for glycosyltransferase activity and had low to absent Na+,K+-ATPase activity. Adenylate cyclase activity was present in all membrane fractions except the microvillus membrane but co-purified with Golgi rather than lateral-basal membranes. Electron microscopy showed that the Golgi fraction consisted of variably sized vesicles and cisternalike structures. The two lateral-basal membrane fractions showed only vesicles of smaller, more uniform size. After 125I labeling of isolated intact cells, radioactivity was found associated with the lateral-basal and microvillus membrane fractions and not with the Golgi fraction. Antibody prepared against lateral-basal membrane fractions reacted with the surface membrane of isolated villus cells. The membrane fractions from isolated crypt cells demonstrated that all had high glycosyltransferase activity. The data show that glycosyltransferase activity, in addition to its Golgi location, may be a significant property of the lateral-basal portion of the intestinal villus cell plasma membrane. Data obtained with crypt cells support earlier data and show that the crypt cell surface membrane possesses glycosyltransferase activity.

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