We have previously reported a decreased activity of the lysosomal enzyme dipeptidyl aminopeptidase-I (DAP-I) in cultured fibroblasts from patients with Duchenne's muscular dystrophy (DMD). Here we report that electron microscope examination of these cells reveals the presence of abundant lamellar bodies, a morphologic abnormalities commonly associated with impaired lysosomal function. Morphometric analysis of these cytoplasmic figures in dystrophic cells shows a sevenfold increase relative to normal controls (P less than 0.01). Analysis of lysosomal density profiles by density gradient centrifugation reveals similar patterns in normal and DMD cells. Treatment of lysosomes wit the nonionic detergent Triton X-100 causes an activation of DAP-I. This activation, attributable to structure-linked latency, is markedly diminished in DMD cells which show an optimal activation of only 180% compared to 255% for control fibroblasts (P less than 0.01). These data suggest an alteration in the properties of the lysosomal membrane in DMD fibroblasts. This suggestion is also supported by studies on the release of DAP-I from lysosomes by osmotic shock which show it to be a membrane-associated enzyme with membrane-binding characteristics intermediate between those of tightly bound beta-glucosidase and those of unbound N-acetylgalactosaminidase. The latency characteristics of these other lysosomal enzymes are not altered in the DMD cells, indicating that the effect is specific for DAP-I.
A protein component of membranes isolated from 3T3 mouse fibroblasts and HeLa cells has been identified as actin by peptide mapping. Extensive but apparently not total coincidence was found between the peptide maps of these two nonmuscle membrane-associated actins compared to chick skeletal muscle actin. Between 2 and 4 percent of the total membrane protein appears in the actin band on sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gels of 3T3 membranes while about 4 percent of the membrane protein appears as the actin band from HeLa membranes. These values represent approximately the same proportion of actin to total protein found in the cell homogenates. Treatment of intact cells with levels of cytochalasin B sufficient to cause pronounced morphological changes did not change the amount of actin associated with the membrane in either 3T3 or HeLa cells. However, incubation of isolated membranes under conditions favoring conversion of actin from filamentous to monomeric form resulted in dissociation of approximately 80 and 60 percent of the actin from 3T3 and HeLa membranes, respectively. Thus, approximately 20 percent of 3T3 membrane actin and 40 percent of HeLa membrane actin remained associated with the membrane even under actin depolymerizing conditions.