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Eur J Cell Biol. 1999 Feb;78(2):79-90.

The secretory lectin ZG16p mediates sorting of enzyme proteins to the zymogen granule membrane in pancreatic acinar cells.

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Department of Cell Biology and Cell Pathology, Philipps University Marburg, Germany.


The recently established in vitro assay of condensation-sorting of pancreatic enzymes to the zymogen granule membrane (ZGM) (Dartsch, H., R. Kleene, H. F. Kern: In vitro condensation-sorting of enzyme proteins isolated from rat pancreatic acinar cells. Eur. J. Cell Biol. 75, 211-222 (1998)) was used to study the involvement of a novel secretory lectin, ZG16p, in the binding of aggregated proteins to ZGM. In isolated zymogen granules the lectin is predominantly associated with the membrane and can be removed to a large extent by bicarbonate treatment at pH 11.5. In the in vitro assay in which secretory proteins aggregate at pH 5.9 but only those bound to ZGM are sedimented into the pellet, ZG16p is significantly enriched in this pellet fraction, shown both by biochemical and fine structural analysis. Pretreatment of ZGM with anti-ZG16p antibody before their addition to the assay inhibits binding to the membrane by about 50%. Similarly, removal of ZG16p or prevention of its interaction with glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) in the submembranous matrix of ZGM by sodium bicarbonate treatment or chondroitinase digestion of ZGM also inhibits the binding efficiency of secretory proteins to ZGM to about the same extent. We conclude that ZG16p may act as a linker molecule between the submembranous matrix on the luminal side of ZGM and aggregated secretory proteins during granule formation in the TGN.

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