Caco-2 cells, derived from human colon, have the morphological, functional, and biochemical properties of small intestinal epithelial cells. After infection with enveloped viruses, influenza virions assembled at the apical plasma membrane while vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) particles appeared exclusively at the basolateral membrane, similar to the pattern observed in virus-infected Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK). When grown in Millicell filter chamber devices and labeled with [35S]methionine, Caco-2 monolayers released all of their radiolabeled secretory products preferentially into the basal chamber. Among the proteins identified were apolipoproteins AI and E, transferrin, and alpha-fetoprotein. No proteins were observed to be secreted preferentially from the apical cell surface. The lysosomal enzyme beta-hexosaminidase was also secreted primarily from the basolateral surface of the cells in the presence or absence of lysosomotropic drugs or tunicamycin, which inhibit the targetting of lysosomal enzymes to lysosomes. Neither of these drug treatments significantly affected the polarized secretion of other nonlysosomal proteins. In addition, growth hormone (GH), which is released in a nonpolar fashion from MDCK cells, was secreted exclusively from the basolateral membrane after transfection of Caco-2 cells with GH cDNA in a pSV2-based expression vector. Similar results were obtained in transient expression experiments and after selection of permanently transformed Caco-2 cells expressing GH. Since both beta-hexosaminidase and GH would be expected to lack sorting signals for polarized exocytosis in epithelial cells, these results indicate that in intestinal cells, proteins transported via the basolateral secretory pathway need not have specific sorting signals.
A specific sorting signal is not required for the polarized secretion of newly synthesized proteins from cultured intestinal epithelial cells.
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M J Rindler, M G Traber; A specific sorting signal is not required for the polarized secretion of newly synthesized proteins from cultured intestinal epithelial cells.. J Cell Biol 1 August 1988; 107 (2): 471–479. doi: https://doi.org/10.1083/jcb.107.2.471
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