Activation of a selective pathway of lysosomal proteolysis in rat liver by prolonged starvation

A. M. Cuervo, E. Knecht, S. R. Terlecky, J. F. Dice

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293 Scopus citations


Lysosomal uptake and degradation of polypeptides such as glyceraldehyde- 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH), ribonuclease A (RNase A), and RNase S- peptide (residues 1-20 of RNase A) are progressively activated in rat liver by starvation before isolation of lysosomes. This pathway of proteolysis is selective, since it is stimulated by the heat shock cognate protein of 73 kDa (HSC73) and ATP-MgCl2, and lysosomal uptake of RNase A could be competed by GAPDH but not by ovalbumin. A portion of intracellular HSC73 is associated with certain lysosomes, and the amount of lysosomal HSC73 increases by 5- to 10-fold during prolonged starvation. The lysosome-associated HSC73 is primarily within the lysosomal lumen. Double immunogold labeling of lysosomes incubated in vitro with RNase A detects this protein substrate as well as HSC73 within lysosomes. More than two-thirds of the labeled lysosomes contain both RNase A and HSC73. The possible physiological significance of the activation of this selective pathway of lysosomal proteolysis in long-term starvation is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)C1200-C1208
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology
Issue number5 38-5
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase
  • heat shock proteins
  • protein degradation
  • ribonuclease A

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cell Biology


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