Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract Lysosomal enzymes are subjected to a number of modifications including carbohydrate restructuring and proteolytic maturation. Some of these reactions support lysosomal targeting, others are necessary for activation or keeping the enzyme inactive before being segregated, while still others may be adventitious. The non-segregated fraction of the enzyme is secreted and can be isolated from the medium. It is considered that the secreted lysosomal enzymes fulfill certain physiological and pathophysiological roles. By comparing the secreted and the intracellular enzymes it is possible to distinguish between the reactions that occur before and after the segregation. In this review the reactions that may influence the segregation are referred to as the early processing and those characteristic for the enzymes isolated from lysosomal compartments as the late processing. The early processing is characterized mainly by modifications of carbohydrate side chains. In the late processing, proteolytic fragmentation represents the most conspicuous changes. The review focuses on the compartmentation of the reactions and the proteolytic fragmentation of lysosomal enzyme precursors. While a plethora of proteolytic reactions are involved, our knowledge of the proteinases responsible for the particular maturation reactions remains very limited. The review points also to work with cells from patients affected with lysosomal storage disorders, which contributed to our understanding of the lysosomal apparatus.
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