We describe a method for the specific radioiodination of pinocytic vesicles (PVs) based upon the simultaneous endocytosis of lactoperoxidase (LPO) and glucose oxidase (GO). Initial experiments indicated that LPO was interiorized by the macrophage cell line J774 by fluid phase pinocytosis and without detectable binding to the plasma membrane (PM). Interiorization varied linearly with enzyme concentration and exposure time, was temperature dependent, and was undetectable at 4 degrees C. Employing EM cytochemistry, LPO activity was restricted to PVs after a 3- to 5-min pulse at 37 degrees C. These results formed the basis of the method for iodinating the luminal surface of PVs: 5-min exposure to both LPO and GO at 37 degrees C followed by washes and iodination (addition of 125I and glucose) at 4 degrees C. Enzyme-dependent incorporation of iodide into the polypeptides of both PV membrane and contents occurred. Several lines of evidence indicated that there was selective labeling of PV as opposed to PM. Iodination did not occur if the pinocytic uptake of LPO ad GO was inhibited by low temperature. EM autoradiography showed a cytoplasmic localization of grains, whereas a clear PM association was evident with surface labeling. LPO was iodinated only after PV labeling and was present within organelles demonstrating latency. After PV iodination, > 75% of several labeled membrane antigens could be immunoprecipitated by monoclonal antibodies only after cell lysis. In contrast, all labeled antigens were accessible to antibody on intact cells after surface labeling. The polypeptide compositions of PM and PV membrane were compared by SDS polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and by quantitative immune precipitation using a panel of anti-J774 monoclonal antibodies. The electrophoretic profiles of iodinated proteins (15-20 bands) were strikingly similar in NP-40 lysates of both PV and PM iodinated cells. In addition, eight membrane antigens examined by immune precipitation, including the trypsin-resistant immunoglobulin (Fc) receptor and the H-2Dd histocompatibility antigen, were found to be iodinated to the same relative extents by both labeling procedures. We conclude that PV membrane is formed from a representative sample of PM polypeptide components.

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