Rat liver microsomal fraction synthesized Ret-P-Man (retinyl phosphate mannose) and Dol-P-Man (dolichyl phosphate mannose) from endogenous Ret-P (retinyl phosphate) and Dol-P (dolichyl phosphate). Ret-P-Man synthesis displayed an absolute requirement for a bivalent cation, and also Dol-P-Man synthesis was stimulated by bivalent metal ions. Mn2+ and Co2+ were the most active, with maximum synthesis of Ret-P-Man occurring at 5-10 mM: Mg2+ was also active, but at higher concentrations. At 5mM-Mn2+ the amount of endogenous Ret-P mannosylated in incubation mixtures containing 5 microM-GDP-mannose in 15 min at 37 degrees C was approx. 3 pmol/mg of protein. In the same assays about 7-10 pmol of endogenous Dol-P was mannosylated. Bivalentcation requirement for Ret-P-Man synthesis from exogenous Ret-P showed maximum synthesis at 2.5 mM-Mn2+ or -Co2+. In addition to Ret-P-Man and Dol-P-Man, a mannolipid co-chromatographing with undecaprenyl phosphate mannose was detected. Triton X-100 (0.5%) abolished Ret-P-Man synthesis from endogenous Ret-P and caused a 99% inhibition of Ret-P-Man synthesis from exogenous Ret-P. The presence of detergent (0.5%) also inhibited Dol-P-Man synthesis from endogenous Dol-P and altered the requirement for Mn2+. Microsomal fraction from Syrian golden hamsters was also active in Ret-P-Man and Dol-P-Man synthesis from endogenous Ret-P and Dol-P. At 5 mM-Mn2+ about 2.5 pmol of endogenous Ret-P and 3.7 pmol of endogenous Dol-P were mannosylated from GDP-mannose per mg of protein in 15 min at 37 degrees C. On the other hand, microsomal fraction from vitamin A-deficient hamsters contained 1.2 pmol of Ret-P and 14.1 pmol of Dol-P available for mannosylation. Since GDP-mannose: Ret-P and GDP-mannose: Dol-P mannosyltransferase activities were not affected, depletion of vitamin A must affect Ret-P and Dol-P pools in opposite ways.

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