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Exp Cell Res. 1984 Nov;155(1):121-8.

Amino acid control of protein degradation in normal and leukemic human lymphocytes.


Lymphocytes from normal human subjects and from patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia were found to degrade their endogenous protein at similar rates (2.5-3.0%/h) when incubated in an amino acid-free buffer. Protein degradation was inhibited 20-35% by inhibitors of autophagic sequestration (amino acids, 3-methyladenine) and by inhibitors of intra-lysosomal proteolysis (leupeptin, propylamine), the extent of inhibition being similar in normal and leukemic lymphocytes. The inhibitor effects, together with the electronmicroscopic demonstration of autophagosomes in the lymphocyte cytoplasm, is taken as evidence for the existence of an autophagic-lysosomal pathway in human lymphocytes, potentially responsible for as much as one-third of their overall protein degradation.

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