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Exp Cell Res. 1987 Jul;171(1):137-52.

Delivery of internalized ricin from endosomes to cisternal Golgi elements is a discontinuous, temperature-sensitive process.


Galactose-terminating membrane glycoproteins and glycolipids on two established human breast carcinoma cell lines were tagged at 4 degrees C with a ricin-horseradish peroxidase conjugate (Ri-HRP). The cells were then incubated for various periods of time at 37 or 18 degrees C. After fixation and diaminobenzidine cytochemistry, the compartments reached by Ri-HRP were studied by analyzing thin serial sections. In both cell types a highly pleomorphic endosomal system comprising vacuolar elements as well as smaller, sometimes branched, tubular elements (tubular endosomes) was revealed at both 37 and 18 degrees C. At 37 degrees C Ri-HRP was consistently observed in flattened cisterns of the Golgi region in 30-40% of the Golgi complexes examined after 30-60 min of incubation. However, no Ri-HRP reached such Golgi elements at 18 degrees C, even after incubation for 180 min. Moreover, at 18 degrees C the ability of ricin to inhibit protein synthesis was virtually abolished, whereas the effect of diphtheria toxin was reduced much less. Following incubation with a monovalent transferrin-HRP conjugate or with unconjugated HRP, no labeling of cisternal Golgi elements was detected. These data indicate that delivery of galactose-terminating membrane molecules from endosomes to the Golgi complex is a discontinuous, temperature-sensitive process and that this process may be required for optimal ricin A-chain translocation.

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