Localization of the heme-binding protein in the cytoplasm and of a heme-binding protein-like immunoreactive protein in the nucleus of rat liver parenchymal cells: Immunocytochemical evidence of the subcellular distribution corroborated by radioimmunoassay and immunoblotting

Authors

  • H. Dariush Fahimi,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology II, University of Heidelberg, Federal Republic of Germany
    • Department of Anatomy, and Cell Biology II, University of Heidelberg, Im Neuenheimer Feld 307, D-6900 Heidelberg, Federal Republic of Germany
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  • Alfred Voelkl,

    1. Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology II, University of Heidelberg, Federal Republic of Germany
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  • Styliani H. Vincent,

    1. Merck Sharp & Dohme, Research Laboratories, Rahway, NJ 07065-0900
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  • Ursula Muller-Eberhard

    1. Department of Pediatrics, Pharmacology and Biochemistry Cornell University Medical College, New York, NY 10021
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Abstract

The abundant heme-binding protein of the liver, probably identical with Z-protein or liver fatty acid-binding protein, has an apparent molecular weight of 14,000 Da and is presumably involved in the intracellular transport of a variety of compounds. The cellular and subcellular distribution of HBP in the liver was studied in adult male and female rats by postembedding immunocytochemistry using the protein A-gold technique. By light microscopic examination heme-binding protein is present exclusively in parenchymal cells and not found in the sinusoidal lining cells or other cells in portal tracts. Immunoreactivity for heme-binding protein is uniformly strong throughout the liver lobule in female rats but is markedly reduced in the pericentral region in male animals. By immunoelectron microscopy heme-binding protein immunoreactivity is localized in cytoplasm and nuclear matrix. The mitochondria and peroxisomes and the secretory apparatus are free of the label. In nuclei, gold labeling is confined to the interchromatin region (euchromatin) and nucleoli; condensed chromatin (heterochromatin) and nucleolus-associated chromatin are negative. The subcellular localization was substantiated by radioimmunoassay and immunoblotting of nuclear and cytosolic fractions. Immunoblotting shows that the heme-binding protein-like immunoreactive protein in the nucleus has a slightly larger molecular weight than that in the cytoplasm.(HEPATOLOGY 1990; 11:859-865.)

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