Intracellular accumulation of protocollagen and extrusion of collagen by embryonic cartilage cells.
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The synthesis of collagen can be interrupted, after the assembly of proline-rich and lysine-rich polypeptide chains called protocollagen, by incubating connective tissues anaerobically. Under these conditions the proline and lysine residues in protocollagen are not hydroxylated to hydroxyproline and hydroxylysine, and protocollagen molecules accumulate intracellularly. Chemical data and radioautographs at the level of the light and electron microscopes indicated that in tissues labeled with proline-3,4-(3)H under nitrogen, there appeared to be an accumulation of radioactivity over the ground cytoplasm. When the inhibition of protocollagen hydroxylase was reversed by exposing the tissue to oxygen, the accumulated protocollagen-(3)H was converted to collagen-(3)H and there was a rapid transfer of label from the ground cytoplasm to the extracellular matrix. There was no significant change in distribution of label over either the Golgi vacuoles or the cisternae of the endoplasmic reticulum. The failure to find a significant change in distribution of label over the Golgi vacuoles or the cisternae does not completely exclude the possibility that these two compartments are involved in the extrusion, but the data are consistent with the simpler notion that the completed collagen molecules pass directly from the ground cytoplasm to the extracellular matrix.
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Cooper, G. W., & Prockop, D. J.
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