The proline analog cis-4-hydroxy-l-proline (CHP) was previously shown to inhibit both Schwann cell (SC) differentiation and extracellular matrix (ECM) formation in cultures of rat SCs and dorsal root ganglion neurons. We confirmed that CHP inhibits basal lamina formation by immunofluorescence with antibodies to laminin, type IV collagen, and heparan sulfate proteoglycan. In order to test the hypothesis that CHP inhibits SC differentiation by specifically inhibiting the secretion of collagen, cultures grown in the presence or absence of CHP were metabolically labeled with [3H]leucine and the media were analyzed for relative amounts of (a) collagenous and noncollagenous proteins by assay with bacterial collagenase and by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE), or (b) triple-helical collagen by pepsin digestion followed by SDS-PAGE. The results indicate that although CHP inhibited the accumulation of secreted collagen in the culture medium and disrupted collagen triple-helix formation, it also significantly inhibited the accumulation of secreted noncollagenous proteins in the medium. CHP had no significant effect on either total protein synthesis (medium plus cell layer) or cell number. We conclude that CHP does not act as a specific inhibitor of collagen secretion in this system, and thus data from these experiments cannot be used to relate SC collagen production to other aspects of SC differentiation. We discuss the evidence for and against specificity of CHP action in other systems.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology