Peptidyl proline hydroxylase in adult, developing, and neoplastic rat tissues. Academic Article uri icon


  • A sensitive assay system, optimally supplemented with tritiated protocollagen substrate and cofactors, is described which is suitable for determining the peptidyl proline hydroxylase (PPH) content of a wide spectrum of rat tissues. In most tissues, less than 50 percent of the total activity was soluble; the particulate portion of the activity (concentrated in the mitochondrial and microsomal fractions) was doubled by pretreatment with Triton X-100. Among normal adult tissues, lung had the highest total PPH activity (2.4 times that of liver) and small intestine had the lowest (25 percent that of liver). In brain and lactating mammary gland, the activity was similar to that in skin (60 percent of that in liver). Fetal tissues contained 3 to 8 times more PPH than the corresponding adult tissues, and a much lower portion of the total activity was soluble. In four tissues studied in detail (lung, liver, kidney, and brain), the total PPH declined rapidly during the last few days of gestation; brain attained its low adult value before term, whereas the other three tissues continued to decrease in the course of postnatal development. An injection of cortisol to fetal rats enhanced the decline of PPH in lung, liver, and skull. These experiments suggest that during normal differentiation the decline in collagen synthesis is initiated by fetal glucocorticoid secretion which is maximal on the 19th gestational day. PPH activity appears to be a sensitive indicator of neoplastic growth. In renal, mammary, muscle, and hepatic tumors, the PPH activities were 4 to 10 times higher than in the cognate adult tissue. Even in well-differentiated, slowgrowing tumors, the activity was considerably higher than in any normal, mature, or immature tissue, with the exception of the skull and lung of the 19-day-old fetus.

publication date

  • April 1975