Hyperplastic nodules and hepatocarcinomas were produced in rat liver by 2-acetylaminofluorene-containing diet. The homogenates and isolated microsomes were analyzed for the content of lipid intermediates and glycosylation reactions. The dolichol content of hyperplastic nodules increases four times in the homogenate and six times in the microsomes. In developed hepatocarcinoma, the amount of dolichol was doubled. Concerning the distribution pattern of the polyprenols, there is a change in the relative amounts of dolichols with 18 and 19 residues. In contrast to the free alcohol, dolichyl phosphate was greatly decreased in nodules, a finding which might be explained by a decreased dolichol kinase and an increased dolichol monophosphatase activity. The percentage of total phosphorylated dolichol was related to the glycosylating capacity. In microsomes, mitochondria, and homogenate from normal liver and in homogenate from hyperplastic liver nodules, the percentages of dolichyl phosphate were 23, 2, 16, and 4, respectively. At maximal glycosylation in vitro, only part of the total dolichyl phosphate was glycosylated. Dolichol-mediated protein glycosylation exhibited a general decrease in the microsomes from nodules and cancer tissue; it is suggested that the main cause of the decrease is a shortage of the available dolichyl phosphate which is rate limiting and which also contributes to the synthesis of the modified oligosaccharide chain.

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Supported by grants from the Swedish Medical Research Council, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, and Magnus Bergwall Foundation.

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