Cells dissociated from rat anterior pituitaries were incubated with native or cationized ferritin (CF) to trace the fate of surface membrane. Native ferritin, which did not bind to the cell surface, was taken up in small amounts by bulk-phase endocytosis and was found increasingly (over 1-2 h) concentrated in lysosomes. CF at 100-fold less concentrations bound rapidly to the cell membrane, was taken up by endocytosis in far greater amounts, and within 15-60 min was found increasingly within multiple stacked Golgi cisternae, around forming secretion granules, and within elements of GERL, as well as within lysosomes. The findings demonstrate that the fate of the tracer--and presumably also that of the surface membrane--varies with the same molecule differing only in net charge: vesicles carrying anionic ferritin (net negative charge) fuse only with elements of the lysosomal system whereas those carrying CF (net positive charge) can fuse not only with elements of the lysosomal system, but also with elements along the secretory pathway (Golgi cisternae and condensing granules) as well.

This content is only available as a PDF.