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Clathrin structure characterized with monoclonal antibodies. II. Identification of in vivo forms of clathrin.


Clathrin was isolated from detergent-solubilized, biosynthetically radiolabeled cells by immunoprecipitation with anti-clathrin monoclonal antibodies. Immunoprecipitates obtained after pulse-chase labeling demonstrated that after biosynthesis the LCa light chain of clathrin could be found either complexed to heavy chain or in a free pool (not associated with heavy chain) which decreased steadily over time. More than half of the free LCa disappeared within the first hour after biosynthesis, but some was still detectable after several hours. Incorporation of clathrin LCa light chain and heavy chain into coated vesicles was coordinate and increased up to 4 h after biosynthesis. Comparison of these kinetics suggested that once incorporated into coated vesicles, LCa and heavy chain did not dissociate, even during depolymerization of the vesicle. There was also little apparent degradation of clathrin found in coated vesicles for up to 22 h after biosynthesis. Immunoprecipitation with anti-clathrin monoclonal antibodies was carried out after fractionation of continuously radiolabeled cell lysates using two different sizing columns. These experiments indicated that the triskelion form of clathrin that has been isolated from coated vesicles in vitro also exists in vivo. They also confirmed the existence of a transient but detectable pool of newly synthesized free LCa light chain.

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