To clarify the process of post-translational modification of L-histidine decarboxylase (HDC), we investigated the conversion of the 74-kDa form of HDC into the 53-kDa form in specialized organella of a rat basophilic/ mast cell line (RBL-2H3). With treatment of streptolysin-O, RBL-2H3 cells released approximately 40% of HDC activity accompanied by over 90% of lactate dehydrogenase activity. Only the 74-kDa form of HDC was detected in the leaked fraction by SD-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. The 74-kDa form in the homogenate of pulse-labeled cells was recovered in both the supernatant and particulate fractions, while the 53-kDa form was detected only in the particulate fraction containing marker proteins of microsomes, Golgi, and lysosomal granules. Confocal microscopic observation using double staining immunofluorescence with anti-GST fusion HDC antiserum showed that most of the HDC coexists with protein-disulfide isomerase, a typical marker of the luminal space of the ER. With treatment of digitonin, RBL-2H3 cells released only 74-kDa HDC. Trypsin digestion of digitonin-permeabilized cells resulted in the disappearance of the 74-kDa form but not the 53-kDa form. From these results, it is assumed that the 74-kDa form of HDC, synthesized in the cytosol, is translocated into the lumen of the ER, where it is converted to the 53-kDa form.
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