October 1989
Volume 30, Issue 10
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Articles  |   October 1989
Retinal pigment epithelial glycosaminoglycan metabolism: intracellular versus extracellular pathways. In vitro studies in normal and diseased cells.
Author Affiliations
  • L E Stramm
    Scheie Eye Institute, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • M E Haskins
    Scheie Eye Institute, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • G D Aguirre
    Scheie Eye Institute, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science October 1989, Vol.30, 2118-2131. doi:
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      L E Stramm, M E Haskins, G D Aguirre; Retinal pigment epithelial glycosaminoglycan metabolism: intracellular versus extracellular pathways. In vitro studies in normal and diseased cells.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1989;30(10):2118-2131.

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Abstract

The synthesis and turnover of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) in different fractions of cultured feline retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) were characterized. In one method of fractionation, trypsin was used to separate the extracellular components (referred to as trypsin-soluble glycocalyx) from the intracellular components. As a second method, the basal extracellular matrix (basal ECM) was separated from the rest of the GAGs (cell-associated GAGs) by extracting the cell layer with NH4OH. The incorporation of 35SO4 into cetylpyridinium chloride-precipitable GAGs in the cell-associated and the intracellular fractions increased throughout the labeling period, while in the trypsin-soluble glycocalyx and the basal ECM incorporation approached a maximum. While heparan sulfate was the predominant GAG in all compartments, most was located extracellularly. The majority of dermatan sulfate was localized in the intracellular fraction. GAGs in the trypsin-soluble glycocalyx exhibited a rapid rate of turnover, while GAGs in the intracellular compartment and basal ECM turned over much more slowly. Ascorbic acid increased the incorporation of 35SO4 into ECM chondroitin sulfate/dermatan sulfate, but not heparan sulfate, on a per cell basis. Cycloheximide reduced incorporation of 35SO4-GAGs into both the cell-associated compartment and the basal ECM. In contrast, monensin caused a reduction in basal ECM GAGs while increasing the GAGs in the cell-associated compartment. The intracellular accumulation of GAGs and resultant pathology in alpha-L-iduronidase (alpha-L-id)-deficient RPE indicated that this pathway for the intracellular degradation of GAGs is important in normal RPE function. However, the turnover of GAGs in the trypsin-soluble glycocalyx was not affected by deficient alpha-L-id activity or by the subsequent intracellular accumulation of GAGs. Therefore, normal lysosomal activity in the RPE is not a prerequisite for maintaining the rate of extracellular GAG turnover within normal limits.

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