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J Cell Sci. 1996 Jun;109 ( Pt 6):1215-27.

The transcytotic pathway of an apical plasma membrane protein (B10) in hepatocytes is similar to that of IgA and occurs via a tubular pericentriolar compartment.

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INSERM U327, Université Paris 7, Faculté de Médecine Xavier-Bichat, France.


In hepatocytes, newly synthesized apical plasma membrane proteins are first delivered to the basolateral surface and are supposed to reach the apical surface by transcytosis. The transcytotic pathway of apical membrane proteins and its relationship with other endosomal pathways has not been demonstrated morphologically. We compared the intracellular route of an apical plasma membrane protein, B10, with that of polymeric IgA (pIgA), which is transcytosed, transferrin (Tf) which is recycled, and asialoorosomucoid (ASOR) which is delivered to lysosomes. Ligands and anti-B10 monoclonal IgG were linked to fluorochromes or with peroxidase. The fate of each ligand was followed by confocal and electron microscopy in polarized primary monolayers of rat hepatocytes. When fluorescent anti-B10 IgG and fluorescent pIgA were simultaneously endocytosed for 15-30 minutes, they both uniformly labelled a juxtanuclear compartment. By 30-60 minutes, they reached the bile canaliculi. Tf and ASOR were also routed to the juxtanuclear area, but their fluorescence patterns were more punctate. Microtubule disruption prevented all ligands from reaching the juxtanuclear area. This area corresponded, at least partially, to the localization of the mannose 6-phosphate receptor, an endosomal marker. By electron microscopy, the juxtanuclear compartment was made up of anastomosing tubules connected to vacuoles, and was organized around the centrioles. B10 and pIgA were mainly found in the tubules, whereas ASOR was segregated inside the vacuolar elements and Tf within thinner, recycling tubules. In conclusion, transcytosis of the apical membrane protein B10 occurs inside tubules similar to those carrying pIgA, and involves passage via the pericentriolar area. In the pericentriolar area, the transcytotic tubules appear to maintain connections with other endosomal elements where sorting between recycled and degraded ligands occurs.

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