In the present study we report the occurrence of chaperonins, cpn 10 and cpn60, in Chromatium vinosum and rat hepatocytes, using specific polyclonal antibodies in conjunction with the protein A-gold immunocytochemical technique. As demonstrated by quantitative evaluations, the immunolabeling for cpn10 and cpn60 in C vinosum cells was associated primarily with the bacterial cell envelope. In rat liver homogenates, Western immunoblotting analysis has shown that antibodies to cpn10 from C vinosum recognize an unique 25-kDa protein that remains to be further characterized. On the other hand, the antibody to cpn60 from C vinosum revealed the presence of a 60-kDa protein in the rat liver homogenates. Immunofluorescence on rat liver tissue revealed an intracellular granular labeling for both chaperonins. On the other hand, using the post-embedding immunoelectron microscopy technique cpn10 and cpn60 were localized specifically in liver mitochondria and peroxisomes. Interestingly, further analysis of the labeling distribution confirmed the association of both proteins with the mitochondrial inner membrane whereas in the peroxisomes the chaperonins appeared to be located in the matrix, away from the limiting peroxisomal membrane. The colocalization of both chaperonins suggests that, as in other bacteria as well as eukaryotic cells, they may act in tandem for the proper folding of particular proteins. © 1996.
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