Transport of heparan sulfate into the nuclei of hepatocytes

M. Ishihara, N. S. Fedarko, H. E. Conrad

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143 Scopus citations


Monolayer cultures of a rat hepatocyte cell line shown previously to accumulate a nuclear pool of free heparan sulfate chains that are enriched in sulfated glucuronic acid (GlcA) residues were incubated with 35SO42-, and the rate of appearance of heparan [35S]sulfate in the nuclei was measured. Heparan [35S]sulfate began to accumulate in the nuclei 2 h after the administration of 35SO42- to the cells and reached a steady state level after 20 h. Heparan [35S]sulfate was lost from the nuclei of prelabeled cells with a t( 1/2 ) of 8 h. Chloroquine did not inhibit the transport of heparan sulfate into the nucleus, but increased the t( 1/2 ) for the exit of heparan sulfate from the nucleus to 20 h and led to a doubling of the steady state level of nuclear heparan sulfate. Heparan [35S]sulfate which was obtained from the medium or from the cell matrix of a labeled culture and which contained only low levels of GlcA-2-SO4 residues was incubated with cultures of unlabeled cells, and the uptake of the exogenous heparan [35S]sulfate was studied. At 37°C the cells took up proteoheparan [35S]sulfate and transported about 10% of the internalized heparan [35S]sulfate into the nucleus, where it appeared as free chains. The heparan [35S]sulfate isolated from the nucleus was enriched in GlcA-2-SO4 residues, whereas the heparan [35S]sulfate remaining in the rest of the intracellular pool showed a corresponding depletion in GlcA-2-SO4 residues. At 16°C, where endocytosed materials do not enter the lysosomes, the cells also transported exogenous proteoheparan [35S]sulfate to the nucleus with similar processing. Thus, the metabolism of exogenous heparan sulfate by hepatocytes follows the same pathway observed in continuously labeled cells and does not involve lysosomal processing of the internalized heparan sulfate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13575-13580
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number29
StatePublished - 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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