1. Chinese-hamster ovary fibroblasts were cultured to provide a homogeneous cell population. Homogenates obtained from these cells were fractionated by centrifugation techniques and the resulting fractions were analysed for protein and for enzymes representative of certain subcellular particles. 2. Unlike those in rat liver homogenates, the mitochondrial and lysosomal populations proved impossible to separate by differential centrifugation owing to the similarity of their sedimentation properties. Their resolution was possible by using isopycnic centrifugation in a continuous sucrose density gradient. 3. The mitochondrial population equilibrated at a density of 1.17g·cm−3 as in rat liver homogenates. However, the lysosomal population equilibrated at a lower rather than a higher density position than the mitochondria and the probable reasons for this are discussed. 4. The lysosomal population subdivided into two groups characterized by differences in acid hydrolase content and equilibrium densities. The fraction with a density of 1.15g·cm−3 contained the majority of arylsulphatases A and B, of cathepsin and of β-acetylglucosaminidase activities, whereas that with a density of 1.09g·cm−3 contained the majority of the acid phosphatase and acid ribonuclease activities. The probable division of the lysosomal population of a single cell into a number of distinguishable subgroups is suggested.
- © 1973 London: The Biochemical Society