Lysosomal cysteine protease, cathepsin B, is targeted to lysosomes by the mannose 6-phosphate-independent pathway in rat hepatocytes: Site-specific phosphorylation in oligosaccharides of the proregion

Yoshitaka Tanaka, Rie Tanaka, Takahiro Kawabata, Youichiro Noguchi, Masaru Himeno

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Cathepsin B, a lysosomal cysteine protease, is synthesized as a glycoprotein with two N-linked oligosaccharide chains, one of which is in the propeptide region while the other is in the mature region. When cultured rat hepatocytes were labeled with [32P]phosphate, 32P-labeled cathepsin B was immunoprecipitated only in the proform from cell lysates and medium. Either Endo H or alkaline phosphatase treatment of 32P-labeled procathepsin B demonstrated the acquisition of a mannose 6-phosphate (Man 6-P) residue on high mannose type oligosaccharides. To identify the site of phosphorylation, immunoisolated 35S- or 32P-labeled procathepsin B was incubated with purified lysosomal cathepsin D, since cathepsin D cleaves 48 amino acid residues from the N-terminus of procathepsin B, in which one N-linked oligosaccharide chain was also included [Kawabata, T. et al. (1993) J. Biochem. 113, 389-394]. Treatment of intracellular 35S-labeled procathepsin B with a molecular mass of 39-kDa with cathepsin D resulted in the production of the 31-kDa intermediate form, but the 32P-label incorporated into procathepsin B disappeared after treatment with cathepsin D. These results indicate that the phosphorylation of procathepsin B is restricted to an oligosaccharide chain present in the propeptide region. Interestingly, cathepsin B sorting to lysosomes was not inhibited by NH4Cl treatment and about 90% of the intracellular procathepsin B initially phosphorylated was secreted into the medium without being dephosphorylated intracellularly, and did not bind significantly to cation-independent-Man 6-P receptor, suggesting the failure of Man 6-P-dependent transport of procathepsin B to lysosomes. Additionally, about 50% of the newly synthesized 35S-labeled cathepsin B was retained in the cells in mature forms consisting of a 29-kDa single chain form and a 24-kDa two chain form, while part of the procathepsin B was associated with membranes in a Man 6-P-independent manner. Taken together, these results show that in rat hepatocytes, cathepsin B is targeted to lysosomes by an alternative mechanism(s) other than the Man 6-P-dependent pathway.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-48
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of biochemistry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2000


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology

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