Cytochemical study of role of α-d-mannose- and β-d-galactose-containing glycoproteins in apoptosis

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SummaryRecently, we found increased levels of α-d-mannose- and β-d-galactose-containing glycoproteins in plasma membrane of the apoptotic murine leukemia L1210 cells (Bilyy & Stoika 2003). That indicator was suggested to be a novel marker of apoptosis in L1210 cells. The aim of our present work was to reveal if these changes in glycoprotein expression can be common for apoptotic cells of different origin and for various ways of apoptosis induction. It was demonstrated that an elevated expression of plasma membrane glycoproteins rich in α-d-mannose and β-d-galactose did not depend on type of cell line and its tissue origin as well as on nature of apoptosis-inducing agent. We also found that an increase in membrane glycoprotein expression was dependent on concentration of apoptosis-inducing agent and was time-dependent. Changes in glycoproteins' expression were detected as early as 9–12 hours after apoptosis induction. Two hours pretreatment of cells with non-labeled lectin decreased plasma membrane staining with corresponding peroxidase-labeled lectin, probably because of lectin-induced internalization of specific membrane glycoproteins. PSL-lectin-affinity procedure was developed for isolation of apoptotic cells from their mixed population with normal cells. Lectin-dependent agglutination analysis showed that this process occurs at much lower lectin dilutions in the apoptotic cells than in the non-apoptotic cells. Thus, we found that α-d-mannose- and β-d-galactose-containing glycoproteins can be used for lectinocytochemical detection, study and isolation of apoptotic cells.

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