The rates of pinocytic uptake of a number of small 125I-labelled simple proteins (insulin, ribonuclease A and lysozyme) by rat yolk sacs incubated in vitro were determined both before and after treating these proteins with reagents that are known to increase the rate of capture of 125I-labelled bovine serum albumin. Uptake of the untreated forms of all three proteins was extremely rapid, indicating that adsorptive pinocytosis is the principal mechanism by which yolk-sac cells capture these simple proteins, but these rates show no simple correlation with molecular charge. In contrast with albumin, the rates of uptake of treated proteins were either unchanged or lower than that of the corresponding untreated protein preparations; polymeric forms of 125I-labelled lysozyme larger than dimers were ingested at rates significantly lower than that of the monomer.

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