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J Neurocytol May 1, 1993; 22 (5): 397-412.

Tunicamycin does not inhibit transport of phosphatidylinositol to Xenopus rod outer segments.

Wetzel MG , Bendala-Tufanisco E , Besharse JC .

Tunicamycin inhibits the dolichol pathway for N-linked glycosylation of proteins, including photoreceptor opsin, and causes a buildup of tubulo-vesicular profiles in the intersegmental space between photoreceptor rod inner and outer segments associated with disruption of new disc assembly. We tested the hypothesis that a tunicamycin lesion in photoreceptors would block lipid transport into the outer segment. Adult Xenopus retinas were preincubated in dim red light with 20 micrograms ml-1 of tunicamycin for one hour followed by incubation in the light for 2-6 h with tunicamycin plus either [3H]mannose, [3H]leucine, [2-(3)H]glycerol or [3H]myo-inositol. Tunicamycin caused accumulation of tubulo-vesicular membranes in the intersegmental space and significantly reduced both [3H]leucine and [3H]mannose incorporation into the basal region of rod outer segments. However, tunicamycin had no effect on [3H]glycerol incorporation into the rod outer segment phospholipids. After 5 h incubation with [3H]glycerol, radiolabel in outer segment fractions was associated primarily with phosphatidylinositol in both control and tunicamycin treated retinas. Quantitative light microscope autoradiography of both [3H]glycerol and [3H]inositol labelled retinas showed diffuse labelling over the entire rod outer segment in both control and tunicamycin treated retinas with no accumulation of radioactivity in the basal discs of control retinas or in the tubulo-vesicular structures in the intersegmental space of tunicamycin treated retinas. Our results indicate that despite the morphological disruption and inhibition of glycoprotein transport to outer segments after tunicamycin treatment, transport of labelled phosphatidylinositol occurs normally. These data add to a growing body of evidence separating the lipid and protein transport pathways to the outer segment.

PubMed ID: 8315416
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Grant support: [+]

Species referenced: Xenopus
Genes referenced: il17f