The Triton X-100-insoluble skeleton of baby hamster kidney BHK cells consists of the nucleus, intermediate-size filaments, and actin fibers. By transmission electron microscopy, membrane fragments were found to be associated with these insoluble structures. When radioiodinated or [3H]glucosamine-labeled cells were extracted with 0.5% Triton, most plasma membrane glycoproteins were solubilized except for a glycoprotein with a molecular weight of 85,000 (gp85) that remained associated with the insoluble skeletons. Immunoprecipitation with a specific antiserum indicated that the gp85 is not a proteolytic degradation product of fibronectin, an extracellular matrix glycoprotein insoluble in detergent. A monoclonal antibody of BHK cells specific for gp85 was produced. Immunofluorescence analysis with this monoclonal antibody indicated that gp85 is not associated with the extracellular matrix, but is confined to the cell membrane. Both in fixed and unfixed intact cells, fluorescence was concentrated in dots preferentially aligned in streaks on the cell surface. Gp85 was found to behave as an integral membrane protein interacting with the hydrophobic core of the lipid bilayer since it was extracted from membrane preparations by ionic detergents such as SDS, but not by 0.1 N NaOH (pH 12) in the absence of detergents, a condition known to release peripheral molecules. Association of gp85 with the cell skeleton was unaffected by increasing the Triton concentration up to 5%, but it was affected when actin filaments were dissociated or when a protein-denaturing agent (6 M urea) was used in the presence of Triton, suggesting that protein-protein interactions are involved in the association of gp85 with the cell skeleton. We conclude that gp85 is an integral plasma membrane glycoprotein that might have a role in cell surface-cytoskeleton interaction.

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