Distribution of protein disulfide isomerase in rat epiphyseal chondrocytes

J Histochem Cytochem. 1989 Dec;37(12):1835-44. doi: 10.1177/37.12.2584692.


We investigated the intracellular distribution of protein disulfide isomerase (PDI) in rat epiphyseal chondrocytes by immunocytochemistry, using a post-embedding protein A-gold technique. Gold particles were localized primarily in the cisternal space of the rough endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and nuclear envelopes. The ER cisternae of the chondrocytes in all the differentiating epiphyseal zones--resting, proliferative, pre-hypertrophic, and hypertrophic--were equally and highly labeled. The labeling density of the cisternal space of the dilated ER, probably reflecting marked accumulation of secretory proteins such as procollagen, was always higher than that of the non-dilated ER. In the dilated cisternal space, gold particles were freely and evenly distributed, without preferential binding to the luminal surface of the ER membranes. We suggest that PDI catalyzes the formation of disulfide bonds of various secretory proteins, perhaps type II procollagen, in the cisternal space of the ER in epiphyseal chondrocytes. The exclusive localization of gold particles in the cisternal space of the ER and nuclear envelopes and the lack of gold particles in the Golgi apparatus, including cis-Golgi cisternae, indicate that PDI is an ER-soluble protein in the chondrocytes and is presumably sorted out in some pre-Golgi compartment and not transported to the Golgi apparatus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging
  • Animals
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cartilage / enzymology*
  • Cartilage / ultrastructure
  • Cell Division
  • Disulfides / metabolism*
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum / enzymology
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Isomerases / metabolism*
  • Nuclear Envelope / enzymology
  • Protein Disulfide-Isomerases
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains


  • Disulfides
  • Isomerases
  • Protein Disulfide-Isomerases