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Eur J Cell Biol. 2002 Mar;81(3):117-24.

Early endosomes, late endosomes, and lysosomes display distinct partitioning strategies of inheritance with similarities to Golgi-derived membranes.

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Department of Pathology and Immunology, Monash Medical School, Prahran, Victoria, Australia.


The pattern of inheritance of compartments of the endocytic pathway has been rarely reported, and the precise mechanism(s) are yet to be elucidated. We used antibodies reactive to early endosomes (anti-EEA1), late endosomes (anti-LBPA and anti-LAMP-1), lysosomes (anti-LAMP-1) and trans-Golgi network (TGN) (anti-GOLGA4) to examine the inheritance of these compartments in fixed human HEp-2 cells. Prior to entering M phase, these compartments display a perinuclear bias in their cytoplasmic distribution with areas of local accumulation juxtaposed to the centrosome. The location of these compartments during mitosis was examined relative to each other, the chromosomes, centrosomes and the microtubule network. During M phase early endosomes and TGN-derived compartments share overlapping subcellular distributions. A portion of these compartments display discernible clustering around the separated and migrating centrosomes in prophase. At metaphase these compartments co-localise with the mitotic spindle, are absent at the metaphase plate and do not overlay the astral microtubules. At anaphase these compartments are concentrated between shortening kinetochore microtubules and centrosomes. In addition, they appear distributed over the elongating polar microtubules in the body of the cell. From telophase and into cytokinesis these compartments concentrate around the minus ends of the constricted remnants of polar spindle microtubules and re-establish a prominent presence juxtaposed to the centrosome. In contrast, there is little evidence of movement of late endosomes and lysosomes with migrating centrosomes in prophase, and these compartments are excluded from the mitotic spindle at metaphase. However, by the end of telophase, the subcellular distribution of a portion of late endosomes and lysosomes share overlapping distributions with that of early endosomes. We conclude a portion of endosomal compartments and Golgi-derived membranes undergo ordered partitioning based on the centrosome and mitotic spindle.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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