Key words: Tumor cells
HT-29 colon carcinoma cells
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract. Enterocyte-like differentiated HT-29 colon carcinoma cells were shown to contain far higher intracellular levels of activity of lysosomal cathepsins B, D, and L than their undifferentiated counterparts. In the latter, inhibition of lysosomal functions by leupeptin or ammonium chloride led to a marked increase in the cell-associated activity of the three cathepsins. High levels of pro-cathepsins B, D, and L were found in the culture media of both HT-29 cell populations. Ammonium chloride and chloroquine, which are known to impair the mannose-6-phosphate-dependent trafficking of lysosomal-targeted proteins, did not increase the secretion of the three cathepsins in either undifferentiated or differentiated cultures of HT-29 cells. Analyses by cell fractionation revealed heterogeneities with regard to the density and the content of lysosomal cathepsins between the two cell populations. Leupeptin induced the accumulation of mature lysosomal cathepsins B and L in light density organelles in undifferentiated HT-29 cells. Altogether, these data demonstrate that (1) the expression and subcellular distribution of cathepsins B, D, and L in HT-29 cells are influenced by their state of enterocytic differentiation, (2) the segregation of lysosomal cathepsins is largely inefficient in this tumor cell line and does not increase upon differentiation, and (3) the mannose-6-phosphate-receptor-dependent pathway plays a minor role in the sorting of the three cathepsins, both in undifferentiated and enterocytic-differentiated HT-29 cells.
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