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Expression of lysosomal enzymes in human mutant fibroblast-chick erythrocyte heterokaryons

Experimental Cell Research
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/0014-4827(82)90428-1
  • Biology
  • Medicine


Abstract The generation of enzymes located in lysosomes, in cytosol or in endoplasmatic reticulum/Golgi complex is studied in heterokaryons in which chick erythrocyte nuclei are reactivated. The lysosomal enzymes, α-glucosidase (α-glu) and β-galactosidase (β-gal), are synthesized in heterokaryons obtained after fusion of chick erythrocytes with human fibroblasts of patients with Pompe's disease (α-glu-deficient) and G M1-gangliosidosis (β-gal-deficient), respectively. The enzymes appear to be of chick origin and their activities can be detected at first around 4 days after fusion, i.e., at a time when the nucleoli in the erythrocyte nuclei have been reactivated. Maximal activities are reached around 15 days after fusion. No generation of the lysosomal enzyme β-hexosaminidase is detected in the heterokaryons up to 23 days after fusion of chick erythrocyte with either β-hexosaminidase A- and B-deficient fibroblasts (Sandhoff s disease) or β-hexosaminidase A-deficient fibroblasts (Tay-Sachs disease). Similarly no expression of the cytosol enzyme glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) is found up to 30 days after fusion, when chick erythrocytes are fused with fibroblasts from two different G6PD-deficient cell strains (residual activities of 4 and 20% respectively). Indirectly we examined N-acetyl-glucosamine-1-phosphate transferase activity, an enzyme located in the endoplasmic reticulum/Golgi region. This enzyme is needed for the phosphorylation of the lysosomal hydrolases and absence of its activity is the cause of the multiple lysosomal enzyme deficiencies in patients with I-cell disease. The retention of both, chick and human β-galactosidase in the experiments in which I-cell fibroblasts were fused with chick erythrocytes indicates a reactivation of the gene coding for this phosphorylating enzyme. It also implies that this step in the processing of human lysosomal enzymes is not species-specific.

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