Human lymphoblast and fibroblast cell lines from a patient with I-cell disease and normal individuals were characterized with respect to certain properties of UDP-N-acetylglucosamine:lysosomal enzyme precursor N-acetylglucosamine phosphotransferase. The enzyme isolated from normal lymphoblast and fibroblast cell lines expressed similar kinetic properties, substrate specificities and subcellular localizations. Coincident with the severe reduction of N-acetylglucosamine phosphotransferase activity in both I-cell fibroblast and lymphoblast cell lines, there was an increased secretion of several lysosomal enzymes compared to normal controls. Subsequent examination of N-acetyl-beta-D-hexosaminidase secreted by the I-cell lymphoblasts demonstrated a significant increase in adsorption of the I-cell enzyme to Ricinus communis agglutinin, a galactose-specific lectin. However, the I-cell lymphoblasts did not exhibit the significant decrease in intracellular lysosomal activities seen in I-cell fibroblasts. Our results suggest that lymphoblasts not only represent an excellent source for the purification of N-acetylglucosamine phosphotransferase, but in addition, represent a unique system for studying alternate mechanisms involved in the targeting of lysosomal enzymes.

This content is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.