The biosynthesis of rat alpha 1-inhibitor3, a negative acute-phase reactant specifically found in rodents, was studied in vitro in a cell-free translation system from rabbit reticulocytes, in rat hepatocyte primary cultures and in vivo by immunocytochemistry using normal and turpentine-injected rats. By sucrose-gradient centrifugation and subsequent translation of the fractionated RNA in vitro it was found that the mRNA coding for alpha 1-inhibitor3 exhibited a size of about 28S. For the alpha 1-inhibitor3 translated in vitro an apparent Mr of 155,000 was determined. A continuous decrease in the level of alpha 1-inhibitor3 in serum during experimental inflammation induced by turpentine injection was demonstrated by means of quantitative ‘rocket’ immunoelectrophoresis. This result agrees with the observation by immunocytochemistry of a drastic decrease in alpha 1-inhibitor3 levels in hepatocytes 24 h after turpentine injection. At that time alpha 1-inhibitor3 is mainly located in the Golgi apparatus, whereas it is also present in the membranes of the rough and smooth endoplasmic reticulum when normal liver is used. All hepatocytes, but no other hepatic cells, contain alpha 1-inhibitor3. When hepatocyte primary cultures were labelled with [35S]methionine and alpha 1-inhibitor3 was immunoprecipitated from the hepatocyte medium and the supernatant of homogenized cells, two different forms of alpha 1-inhibitor3 were found. The intracellular form of alpha 1-inhibitor3, with an apparent Mr of 173,000, is characterized by oligosaccharide side chains of the high-mannose type. The form of alpha 1-inhibitor3 in the medium exhibited an Mr of 186,000 and carried carbohydrate side chains of the complex type. After labelling hepatocytes with radioactive sugars, [3H]mannose was found in both forms of alpha 1-inhibitor3, whereas [3H]fucose and [3H]galactose were incorporated only into the form found in the medium. In the presence of tunicamycin an unglycosylated alpha 1-inhibitor3 with an apparent Mr of 154,000 was found in cells and in the medium. In a pulse-chase experiment it was shown that inhibition of glycosylation by tunicamycin resulted in a marked delay of secretion of alpha 1-inhibitor3. Thus the oligosaccharide side chains of alpha 1-inhibitor3 play an important role during its transport into the medium.
- © 1987 London: The Biochemical Society