Letter | Published:

Topographical distribution of coated pits

Nature volume 286, pages 727729 (14 August 1980) | Download Citation

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Abstract

The internalization of a wide range of biologically significant macromolecules, particularly low density lipoproteins (LDL) and proteins such as α2-macroglobulin and epidermal growth factor, occurs primarily through characteristic, bristle-coated indentations of the cell surface known as coated pits1–4. Current interest has focused on the topographical relationship between surface receptors for these ligands and the coated pits2. We establish here that coated pits are themselves distributed non-randomly on the J774.2 mouse macrophage cell surface. Morphometric and statistical analyses of cell profiles in electron micrographs indicate two levels of asymmetry: in all cells, pits are clustered; after colchicine treatment they accumulate over a microvillous protuberance that develops at one pole of the cell. This topographical heterogeneity suggests a new level at which cellular responses to growth substances and hormones may be regulated.

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Author information

Affiliations

  1. Department of Physiology, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, Connecticut 06032

    • J. R. Pfeiffer
    • , J. M. Oliver
    •  & R. D. Berlin

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/286727a0

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