We describe a system for analysis of the intracellular pathways in the biosynthesis and packaging of functionally important proteins in human myeloid cells. The human promyelocytic cell line HL-60 was used since peripheral blood neutrophils are terminally differentiated and do not actively synthesize protein. Cells were disrupted by nitrogen cavitation and subcellular organelles in postnuclear supernatant separated on a discontinuous gradient of Percoll modified to resolve organelles important in protein synthesis. This Percoll gradient separated azurophilic granules from less dense organelles and partially separated the less dense organelles from one another. Approximate densities of organelles identified by electron microscopy and by biochemical markers are azurophilic granules, 1.102 g/mL; endoplasmic reticulum, 1.039 g/mL; Golgi apparatus, 1.032 g/mL; and plasma membrane, 1.027 g/mL. We validated the utility of this method of subcellular fractionation by examining intracellular transport of myeloperoxidase, a myeloid lysosomal enzyme present in azurophilic granules. The subunits of mature myeloperoxidase (molecular weight [mol wt] = 59,000 and 13,500) cosediment with biochemical markers for lysosomes, whereas the large-mol wt (89,000) precursor forms cosediments with biochemical markers of less dense organelles. Within the limits of assay sensitivity, the 89,000-mol wt precursor is enzymatically inactive and has no spectral evidence for a heme group, suggesting that precursors of myeloperoxidase may undergo proteolytic maturation in a prelysosomal compartment with concomitant incorporation of a heme group and acquisition of enzymatic activity. This system of analysis should be suitable for the identication, subcellular localization, and maturational analysis of other myeloid lysosomal enzymes as well as functionally important membrane proteins.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology