Cultured fibroblasts from patients with I-cell disease (mucolipidosis II) accumulate excessive amounts of free cystine, similarly to cells from patients with nephropathic cystinosis, a disorder of lysosomal cystine transport. To clarify whether the intralysosomal accumulation of cystine in I-cell-disease fibroblasts was due to a defective disposal mechanism, we measured the rates of clearance of free [35S]cystine from intact normal, cystinotic and I-cell-disease fibroblasts. Loss of radioactivity from the two mutant cell types occurred slowly (t 1/2 = 500 min) compared with the rapid loss from normal cells (t 1/2 = 40 min). Lysosome-rich granular fractions isolated from three different cystine-loaded normal, cystinotic and I-cell-disease fibroblast strains were similarly examined for non-radioactive cystine egress. Normal granular fractions lost cystine rapidly (mean t 1/2 = 43 min), whereas cystinotic granular fractions did not lose any cystine (mean t 1/2 = infinity). I-cell-disease granular fractions displayed prolonged half-times for cystine disposal (mean = 108 min), suggesting that I-cell-disease fibroblasts, like cystinotic cells, possess a defective carrier mechanism for cystine transport.
- © 1986 London: The Biochemical Society