We have previously reported a decreased activity of the lysosomal enzyme dipeptidyl aminopeptidase-I (DAP-I) in cultured fibroblasts from patients with Duchenne's muscular dystrophy (DMD). Here we report that electron microscope examination of these cells reveals the presence of abundant lamellar bodies, a morphologic abnormality commonly associated with impaired lysosomal function. Morphometric analysis of these cytoplasmic figures in dystrophic cells shows a sevenfold increase relative to normal controls (P < 0.01). Analysis of lysosomal density profiles by density gradient centrifugation reveals similar patterns in normal and DMD cells. Treatment of lysosomes with the nonionic detergent Triton X-100 causes an activation of DAP-I. This activation, attributable to structure-linked latency, is markedly diminished in DMD cells which show an optimal activation of only 180% compared to 255% for control fibroblasts (P < 0.01). These data suggest an alteration in the properties of the lysosomal membrane in DMD fibroblasts. This suggestion is also supported by studies on the release of DAP-I from lysosomes by osmotic shock which show it to be a membrane-associated enzyme with membrane-binding characteristics intermediate between those of tightly bound β-glucosidase and those of unbound N-acetylgalactosaminidase. The latency characteristics of these other lysosomal enzymes are not altered in the DMD cells, indicating that the effect is specific for DAP-I.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology