Two proteins have been implicated in the mannose 6-phosphate-dependent transport of lysosomal enzymes to lysosomes: the 300 kDa cation-independent and the 46 kDa cation-dependent mannose 6-phosphate receptors (CI- and CD-MPRs). The mammalian CI-MPR also mediates endocytosis and clearance of insulin-like growth factor II (IGF-II). Mutant mice that lack the CD-MPR are viable, mice that lack the CI-MPR accumulate high levels of IGF-II and usually die perinatally, whereas mice that lack both IGF-II and CI-MPR are viable. To investigate the relative roles of the MPRs in the targeting of lysosomal enzymes in vivo, we analysed the effect of a deficiency of either MPR on lysosomal enzyme activities in animals lacking IGF-II. In CD-MPR-deficient mice, most activities were relatively normal in solid tissues and some were marginally elevated in serum. In CI-MPR-deficient mice, some enzyme activities were moderately decreased in solid tissues and multiple enzymes were markedly elevated in serum. Finally, total levels of serum mannose 6-phosphorylated glycoproteins were ~ 45-fold and ~ 15-fold higher than wild type in CI- and CD-MPR-deficient mice respectively, and there were specific differences in the pattern of these proteins when comparing CI- and CD-MPR deficient animals. These results indicate that while lack of the CI-MPR appears to perturb lysosome function to a greater degree than lack of the CD-MPR, each MPR has distinct functions for the targeting of lysosomal enzymes in vivo.

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