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, 152 (2), 291-302

Studies on the Glycosylation of Hydroxylysine Residues During Collagen Biosynthesis and the Subcellular Localization of Collagen Galactosyltransferase and Collagen Glucosyltransferase in Tendon and Cartilage Cells

Studies on the Glycosylation of Hydroxylysine Residues During Collagen Biosynthesis and the Subcellular Localization of Collagen Galactosyltransferase and Collagen Glucosyltransferase in Tendon and Cartilage Cells

R Harwood et al. Biochem J.

Abstract

1. The glycosylation of hydroxylysine during the biosynthesis of procollagen by embryonic chick tendon and cartilage cells was examined. When free and membrane-bound ribosomes isolated from cells labelled for 4min with [(14)C]lysine were assayed for hydroxy[(14)C]lysine and hydroxy[(14)C]lysine glycosides, it was found that hydroxylation took place only on membrane-bound ribosomes and that some synthesis of galactosylhydroxy[(14)C]lysine and glucosylgalactosylhydroxy[(14)C]lysine had occurred on the nascent peptides. 2. Assays of subcellular fractions isolated from tendon and cartilage cells labelled for 2h with [(14)C]lysine demonstrated that the glycosylation of procollagen polypeptides began in the rough endoplasmic reticulum. (14)C-labelled polypeptides present in the smooth endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi fractions were glycosylated to extents almost identical with the respective secreted procollagens. 3. Assays specific for collagen galactosyltransferase and collagen glucosyltransferase are described, using as substrate chemically treated bovine anterior-lens-capsule collagen. 4. When homogenates were assayed for the collagen glycosyltransferase activities, addition of Triton X-100 (0.01%, w/v) was found to stimulate enzyme activities by up to 45%, suggesting that the enzymes were probably membrane-bound. 5. Assays of subcellular fractions obtained by differential centrifugation for collagen galactosyltransferase activity indicated the specific activity to be highest in the microsomal fractions. Similar results were obtained for collagen glucosyltransferase activity. 6. When submicrosomal fractions obtained by discontinuous-sucrose-density-gradient-centrifugation procedures were assayed for these enzymic activities, the collagen galactosyltransferase was found to be distributed in the approximate ratio 7:3 between rough and smooth endoplasmic reticulum of both cell types. Similar determinations of collagen glucosyltransferase indicated a distribution in the approximate ratio 3:2 between rough and smooth microsomal fractions. 7. Assays of subcellular fractions for the plasma-membrane marker 5'-nucleotidase revealed a distribution markedly different from the distributions obtained for the collagen glycosyltransferase. 8. The studies described here demonstrate that glycosylation occurs early in the intracellular processing of procollagen polypeptides rather than at the plasma membrane, as was previously suggested.

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