Phosphomannosyl residues on lysosomal enzymes serve as an essential component of the recognition marker necessary for binding to the mannose 6-phosphate (Man 6-P) receptor and translocation to lysosomes. The high mannose-type oligosaccharide units of lysosomal enzymes are phosphorylated by the following mechanism: N-acetylglucosamine 1-phosphate is transferred to the 6 position of a mannose residue to form a phosphodiester; then N- acetylglucosamine is removed to expose a phosphomonoester. We examined the kinetics of this phosphorylation pathway in the murine lymphoma BW5147.3 cell line to determine the state of oligosaccharide phosphorylation at the time the newly synthesized lysosomal enzymes bind to the receptor. Cells were labeled with [2-(3)H]mannose for 20 min and then chased for various times up to 4 h. The binding of newly synthesized glycoproteins to the Man 6-P receptor was followed by eluting the bound ligand with Man 6-P. Receptor-bound material was first detected at 30 min of chase and reached a maximum at 60 min of chase, at which time approximately 10 percent of the total phosphorylated oligosaccharides were associated with the receptor. During longer chase times, the total quantity of cellular phosphorylated oligosaccharides decreased with a half-time of 1.4 h, suggesting that the lysosomal enzymes had reached their destination and had been dephosphorylated. The structures of the phosphorylated aligosaccharides of the eluted ligand were then determined and compared with the phosphorylated oligosaccharides of molecules which were not bond to the receptor. The major phosphorylated oligosaccharide species present in the nonreceptor-bound material contained a single phosphosphodiester at all time examined. In contrast, receptor-bound oligosaccharides were greatly enriched in species possessing one and two phosphomonoesters. These results indicate that binding of newly synthesized lysosomal enzymes to the Man 6-P receptor occurs only after removal of the covering N- acetylglucosamine residues.

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