Complexes of protein-A with 5 and 16 nm colloidal gold particles (PA/Au5 and PA/Au16) are presented as sensitive and clean immunoprobes for ultrathin frozen sections of slightly fixed tissue. The probes are suitable for indirect labeling and offer the opportunity to mark multiple sites. The best procedure for double labeling was to use the smaller probe first, i.e., antibody 1 - PA/Au5 - antibody 2 - PA/Au16. When this was done, no significant interference between PA/Au5 and PA/Au16 occurred. Using this double-labeling procedure we made an accurate comparison between the subcellular distributions of amylase as a typical secretory protein and of GP-2 a glycoprotein, characteristic for zymogen granule membrane (ZGM) preparations. We prepared two rabbit antibodies against GP-2. One antibody (R x ZGM) was obtained by immunizing with native membrane material. The specificity of R x ZGM was achieved by adsorption with the zymogen granule content subfraction. The other, R x GP-2, was raised against the GP-2 band of the SDS polyacrylamide profile of ZGM. We found that the carbohydrate moiety of GP-2 was involved in the antigenic determinant for R x ZGM, while R x GP-2 was most likely directed against GP-2 polypeptide backbone. THe immunocytochemical observations showed that GP-2, on the one hand, exhibited the characteristics of a membrane protein by its occurrence in the cell membrane, the Golgi membranes, and its association with the membranes of the zymogen granules. On the other hand, GP-2 was present in the contents of the zymogen granules and in the acinar and ductal lumina. Also, a GP-2-like glycoprotein was found in the cannulated pancreatic secretion (Scheffer et al., 1980, Eur. J. Cell Biol. 23:122-128). Hence, GP-2 should be considered as a membrane-associated secretory protein of the rat pancreas.

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