Recycling of mannose 6-phosphate receptors was investigated by microinjection of F(ab) fragments against their carboxy-terminal peptides (residues 54–67 or 150–164 of the cytoplasmic domain of 46 kDa and 300 kDa mannose 6-phosphate receptor, respectively). For each receptor, masking the carboxy-terminal peptide by the corresponding F(ab) fragments resulted in complete depletion of the intracellular pool. Redistributed 300 kDa mannose 6-phosphate receptor was shown to accumulate at the plasma membrane and to internalize anti-ectodomain antibodies. Internalization of anti-ectodomain antibodies was also observed for redistributed 46 kDa mannose 6-phosphate receptor. Semiquantitative analysis suggested that for both redistributed receptors the amount of intracellularly accumulated anti-ectodomain antibodies was reduced. In addition, downstream transport along the endosomal pathway was slowed down. These data suggest that sorting information for early steps in the endocytic pathway is contained within the carboxy-terminal peptides of mannose 6-phosphate receptors.

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