Phospholipase D (PLD) is regulated by many factors including the small G-proteins, RhoA and ADP-ribosylation factor (ARF). The present study examined the distribution of RhoA- and ARF-responsive PLD in membranes, microsomes and cytosol of rat tissues and in rat liver subcellular fractions. PLD was present in all tissue fractions examined and was stimulated by guanosine 5´-[γ-thio]triphosphate (GTP[S]), with the highest specific activities being in lung, kidney and spleen. When myristoylated recombinant ARF (mARF) was added with GTP[S], the PLD activity was stimulated further, but the addition of RhoA was without effect. However, in extracts from crude membranes both mARF and RhoA enhanced the stimulation by GTP[S], with high specific activities of PLD being observed in all tissues except muscle. The response to mARF was usually greater than to RhoA, and the responses were additive, except for liver, which showed synergism. When the PLD activity of subcellular fractions of liver was examined, GTP[S] caused increases in all fractions except microsomes and mitochondria, which exhibited low activity. All fractions except mitochondria showed responses to RhoA and mARF, with the response to RhoA being greater in plasma membranes and that to mARF being greater in Golgi and nuclei. Western blotting showed that RhoA was located mainly in the cytosol and plasma membranes, whereas ARF was principally in the cytosol. These findings demonstrate the widespread occurrence of significant activity of both Rho- and ARF-responsive forms of PLD in membranes from all tissues except muscle, and the presence of both forms in liver subcellular fractions except mitochondria. The large variations in the relative responses of PLD to Rho and ARF observed in different tissues and fractions support the existence of different isoforms of the enzyme.

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