Presence of a lysosomal enzyme, arylsulfatase-A, in the prelysosome-endosome compartments of human cultured fibroblasts.
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Although endosomes and lysosomes are associated with different subcellular functions, we present evidence that a lysosomal enzyme, arylsulfatase-A, is present in prelysosomal vesicles which constitute part of the endosomal compartment. When human cultured fibroblasts were subfractionated with Percoll gradients, arylsulfatase-A activity was enriched in three subcellular fractions: dense lysosomes, light lysosomes, and light membranous vesicles. Pulsing the cells for 1 to 10 min with the fluid-phase endocytic marker, horseradish peroxidase, showed that endosomes enriched with the marker were distributed partly in the light lysosome fraction but mainly in the light membranous fraction. By pulsing the fibroblasts for 10 min with horseradish peroxidase conjugated to colloidal gold and then staining the light membranous and light lysosomal fractions for arylsulfatase-A activity with a specific cytochemical technique, the endocytic marker was detected under the electron microscope in the same vesicles as the lysosomal enzyme. The origin of the lysosomal enzyme in this endosomal compartment was shown not to be acquired through mannose 6-phosphate receptor-mediated endocytosis of enzymes previously secreted from the cell. Together with our recent finding that the light membranous fraction contains prelysosomes distinct from bona fide lysosomes and was highly enriched with newly synthesized arylsulfatase-A molecules, these results demonstrate that prelysosomes also constitute part of the endosomal compartment to which intracellular lysosomal enzymes are targeted.
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