Smooth muscle membrane vesicle orientation: a study on intactness and sidedness of rat myometrium plasma membrane vesicles
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Plasma membrane vesicles of rat myometrium were prepared in media containing 240 mM sucrose. The vesicles were exposed to isotonic, hypertonic, and hypotonic sucrose concentrations, fixed, sectioned, and studied using the electron microscope. The vesicles fixed in isotonic media were circular in appearance. Vesicles fixed in hypertonic media were distorted and showed a reduced volume to surface ratio consistent with the hypothesis that greater than 80% of the vesicles were osmotically active to sucrose. Cationized ferritin binding studies and Ca binding and release studies were also consistent with this finding. Exposure to hypotonic media also yielded membranes with distorted profiles indicating that they had been ruptured. [3H]Sucrose trapping experiments revealed that the vesicles had an internal volume of 1.20-1.44 mL/g protein. Hypotonic shock treatment reduced this intravesicular volume to 0.20-0.28 mL/g protein. The hypotonic shock treatment also led to enhanced galactose oxidase catalyzed Na3B3H4 labelling of the membranes and to increased K+-activated ouabain-sensitive p-nitrophenyl phosphatase activity. The enhancement was the same (55 +/- 10%) in the various membrane preparations for both the parameters. The data are interpreted to conclude that the rat myometrium plasma membrane vesicles consisted of 20% broken vesicles and equal proportions of intact vesicles of inside-out and rightside-out orientations.
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