In response to serum withdrawal, when overall rates of proteolysis increase in cultured fibroblasts, proteins containing peptide regions similar to Lys-Phe-Glu-Arg-Gln (KFERQ) are targeted to lysosomes for degradation, and the intracellular concentrations of these proteins decline [Chiang and Dice (1988) J. Biol. Chem. 263, 6797-6805]. To test whether such proteins are also selectively depleted in mammalian tissue in vivo, we have used affinity-purified polyclonal antibodies to KFERQ to detect proteins containing such sequences in tissues of fed and fasted rats. Immunoreactive cytosolic proteins were partially depleted from liver and heart of fasted rats, but the time course differed for these two tissues. Immunoreactive proteins in liver were lost during days 2 and 3 of fasting, whereas such proteins in heart were depleted within day 1 of fasting. In the same fasted rats, levels of immunoreactive cytosolic proteins did not change in two skeletal muscles, the dark soleus and the pale extensor digitorum longus. Immunoreactive proteins in a myofibrillar fraction were also partially depleted in heart, but not in skeletal muscles, of fasted rats. The most likely explanation for these results is that the protein loss in different tissues upon fasting results from selective activation of different proteolytic pathways. The increased proteolysis in liver and heart of fasted animals includes activation of the KFERQ-selective lysosomal pathway, whereas increased proteolysis in skeletal muscle does not.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology