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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Biosynthesis, processing, and targeting of sphingolipid activator protein (SAP )precursor in cultured human fibroblasts. Mannose 6-phosphate receptor-independent endocytosis of SAP precursor.

Sphingolipid activator proteins (SAPs) are essential cofactors for the lysosomal degradation of glycosphingolipids with short oligosaccharide chains by acidic exohydrolases. SAP-A, -B, -C, and -D derive from proteolysis of a 73-kDa glycoprotein, the SAP precursor. In the present publication, we studied the intracellular transport and the endocytosis of SAP precursor in human skin fibroblasts. Our data indicate that SAP precursor bears phosphate residues on noncomplex carbohydrate chains linked to the SAP-C and the SAP-D domain and sulfate residues on complex carbohydrate chains located within the SAP-A, -C, and possibly the SAP-D domain. Treatment of fibroblasts with either bafilomycin A1 or 3-methyladenine indicates that proteolytic cleavage of SAP precursor begins as early as in the late endosomes. To determine whether targeting of SAP precursor depends on mannose 6-phosphate residues, we analyzed the processing of SAP precursor in I-cell disease fibroblasts. In these cells nearly normal amounts of newly synthesized SAP-C were found, although secretion of SAP precursor was enhanced 2-3-fold. Moreover, SAP-C could be localized to lysosomal structures by indirect immunofluorescence in normal and in I-cell disease fibroblasts. Mannose 6-phosphate was not found to interfere significantly with endocytosis of SAP precursor. Normal fibroblasts internalized SAP precursor secreted from I-cells nearly as efficiently as the protein secreted from normal cells. To our surprise, deglycosylated SAP precursor was taken up by mannose 6-phosphate receptor double knock out mouse fibroblasts more efficiently than the glycosylated protein. We propose that intracellular targeting of SAP precursor to lysosomes is only partially dependent on mannose 6-phosphate residues, whereas its endocytosis occurs in a carbohydrate-independent manner.[1]


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