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Electrophoresis. 1997 Dec;18(14):2582-90.

Subcellular fractionation of polarized epithelial cells and identification of organelle-specific proteins by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis.

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Institute of Molecular Pathology, Vienna, Austria.


Protein targeting and sorting is accomplished by complex vesicular transport processes that are tightly regulated within a cell. This is especially important for epithelial cells because correct delivery of newly synthesized proteins as well as recycling and sorting of internalized membrane proteins is essential for the establishment and preservation of cellular polarity. Many transport events, linking various subcellular compartments, have been analyzed, but many transport mechanisms still remain unresolved. In this study we attempted to identify proteins specifically associated with distinct organelles in murine mammary epithelial cells (EpH4). We isolated subcellular compartments by continuous sucrose gradient centrifugation in order to further analyze their protein composition by high-resolution two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE). The successful separation of late endosomes (LE), early endosomes (EE) and most of the rough endoplasmic reticulum (RER) was confirmed by subsequent analysis of gradient fractions for compartment-specific enzymes and marker proteins. Both Golgi and plasma membrane (PM) were found to partially co-purify with EE in such gradients. Characteristic polypeptide patterns were revealed on 2-DE gels for fractions enriched in membranes of different origin. Based on improved sample preparation and loading techniques (this issue, C. Pasquali et al., Electrophoresis, 1997, 18, 2573-2581), we were able to identify several proteins by immunoblotting or microsequencing of Coomassie-stained spots. This will be the basis for a further characterization of organelle-specific molecules in epithelial cells as well as for the establishment of a 2-DE reference map of membrane proteins from murine mammary epithelium.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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