Isolation and properties of plasma membrane from smooth muscle.
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A generalized approach to obtain relatively pure fractions of plasma membrane from smooth muscle tissues for studying calcium transport is described. The use of various markers for cellular membranes to establish the purity of various fractions is critically considered. Plasma membranes from rat myometrium have been isolated in a purity estimated to be 95-99%. Plasma membrane purifications to 70-80% have been achieved from rat mesenteric arteries and veins, canine tracheal smooth muscle, rabbit intestinal muscle, rat vas deferens, rat fundus, and dog gastric corpus. The ATP-dependent transport of Ca is correlated with the distribution of plasma membrane markers. Ca gradient of greater than 1000-fold have been achieved. ATP-dependent active Ca transport by plasma membranes could sometimes be stimulated by oxalate or phosphate. Anion activation of Ca active transport is not a marker for endoplasmic reticulum. In some smooth muscles (e.g., rat vas deferens) ATP-dependent Ca uptake did not correlate exclusively with the distribution of plasma membrane markers. Instead, the correlation seemed to be with NADPH-cytochrome reductase EC 184.108.40.206 activity (putative endoplasmic reticulum marker) as well as with plasma membrane markers. In all smooth muscles, active Ca transport appears to be a property of the plasma membrane; in some it may also be a property of the endoplasmic reticulum. Mitochondria actively transport Ca, but in most systems studied to date, the Km for Ca2+ for this transport is higher than that for plasma membrane. Thus the plasma membrane may be the major physiological mechanism of active transport for Ca out of cytoplasm of smooth muscle cells. In two plasma membrane fractions (from rat myometrium and mesenteric arteries) it has been possible to demonstrate the existence of an Na-Ca exchange system. Its contribution to lowering cytoplasmic Ca is unknown.