Effect of digitonin on rat myometrium subcellular membrane fractions
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Isopycnic centrifugation experiments using sucrose density gradients showed that in digitonin-treated microsomes the distribution of the plasma membrane (PM) marker 5'-nucleotidase was shifted to higher densities. The treatment also caused similar but less pronounced changes in the distribution of protein, the putative endoplasmic reticulum (ER) marker NADPH-dependent cytochrome c reductase, and the inner mitochondrial marker cytochrome c oxidase. Similar experiments using more purified membrane fractions showed that the digitonin treatment led to a comparable increase in the densities of the fractions N1 and N2 previously described as subfractions of plasma membrane and to considerably less increase in the density of the fraction N3B which is enriched in the endoplasmic reticulum and the inner mitochondrial markers. Digitonin inhibited the ATP-dependent Ca uptake by the N1 fraction in a concentration-dependent manner (I50 = 0.3 mg/mL). Digitonin (0.5 mg/mL) inhibited the ATP-dependent azide-insensitive Ca uptake by all the fractions. The results support the hypothesis that (a) N1 and N2 are subfractions of plasma membrane, and (b) ATP-dependent azide-insensitive Ca uptake in rat myometrium is a property of plasma membranes.
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