The intracellular transport of newly synthesized lysosomal hydrolases to lysosomes requires the presence of one or more phosphorylated high mannose-type oligosaccharides per enzyme. A receptor that mediates mannose-6-PO4-specific uptake of lysosomal enzymes is expressed on the surface of fibroblasts and presumably accounts for the intracellular transport of newly synthesized enzymes to the lysosome. In this study, we examined the internalization of lysosomal enzyme-derived phosphorylated oligosaccharides by cultured human fibroblasts. Oligosaccharides of known specific activity bearing a single phosphate in monoester linkage were internalized with Kuptake of 3.2 X 10(-7) M, whereas oligosaccharides bearing two phosphates in monoester linkage were internalized with a Kuptake of 3.9 X 10(-8) M. Thus, phosphorylated high mannose-type oligosaccharides appear to be the minimal structure required for recognition and uptake by the fibroblast receptor. The finding that the Kuptake for monophosphorylated oligosaccharides is 100-fold less than the reported Ki for mannose-6-phosphate indicates that the fibroblast phosphomannosyl receptor contains a binding site that recognizes features of the oligosaccharide in addition to mannose-6-phosphate.

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