1. Polypeptides of liver plasma membrane fractions enriched in three surface domains of hepatocytes, blood-sinusoidal, lateral and bile canalicular, were analysed by isoelectric focusing (IEF) and non-equilibrium pH gel electrophoresis (NEPHGE) across a wide pH range, followed by SDS/PAGE. The overall Coomassie Blue-stained polypeptide patterns in the fractions were different. lateral plasma membrane fractions contained a characteristically higher number of polypeptides focusing at the basic pH range, whereas few basic polypeptides were present in sinusoidal plasma membrane fractions. The glycoproteins in these plasma membrane fractions stained by a lectin overlay technique with radio-iodinated concanavalin A, wheat-germ agglutinin and a slug lectin, were also different. 2. The polypeptides and glycoproteins of ‘early’ and ‘late’ endosome fractions were also compared by two-dimensional electrophoresis. Their composition was shown by Coomassie Blue staining, lectin overlay staining and in membranes metabolically labelled with [35S]methionine to be generally similar. The glycoproteins of sinusoidal plasma membranes and early and late endosomes were generally similar, but major differences in polypeptides of molecular mass 20-50 kDa, pI 7.5-8.5, in plasma membranes and endosomes were demonstrated, with a specific population of basic (pI 8-9) low-molecular-mass polypeptides being present at highest levels in ‘late’ endosomal fractions (shown by Coomassie Blue staining). 3. Analysis of the distribution of three specific membrane glycoproteins identified by using immunoblotting techniques showed that the asialoglycoprotein and the divalent-cation-sensitive mannose 6-phosphate receptors were present in sinusoidal plasma membrane and in early and late endocytic fractions: they were not detected in canalicular plasma membrane fractions. In contrast, 5′-nucleotidase was detected in all fractions examined. The role of the endocytic compartment in regulating trafficking pathways between the plasma membrane domains of the hepatocyte is discussed.
- © 1990 London: The Biochemical Society