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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Biological amine transport in chromaffin ghosts. Coupling to the transmembrane proton and potential gradients.

The effect of the transmembrane proton gradient (delta pH) and potential gradient (delta psi) upon the rate and extent of amine accumulation was investigated in chromaffin ghosts. The chromaffin ghosts were formed by hypo-osmotic lysis of isolated bovine chromaffin granules and extensive dialysis in order to remove intragranular binding components and dissipate the endogenous electrochemical gradients. Upon ATP addition to suspensions of chromaffin ghosts, a transmembrane proton gradient alone, a transmembrane gradient alone, or both, could be established, depending upon the compositions of the media in which the ghosts were formed and resuspended. When chloride was present in the medium, addition of ATP resulted in the generation of a transmembrane proton gradient, acidic inside of 1 pH unit (measured by [14C]methylamine distribution), and no transmembrane potential (measured by [14C]-thiocyanate distribution). When ATP was added to chromaffin ghosts suspended in a medium in which chloride was substituted by isethionate, a transmembrane potential, inside positive, of 45 mV and no transmembrane proton gradient, was measured. In each medium, the addition of agents known to affect proton or potential gradients, respectively, exerted a predictable mechanism of action. Accumulation of [14C]epinephrine or [14C]5-hydroxytryptamine was over 1 order of magnitude greater in the presence of the transmembrane proton gradient or the transmembrane potential than in the absence of any gradient and, moreover, was related to the magnitude of the proton or potential gradient in a dose-dependent manner. When ghosts were added to a medium containing chloride and isethionate, both a delta pH and delta psi could be generated upon addition of ATP. In this preparation, the maximal rate of amine accumulation was observed. The results indicate that amine accumulation into chromaffin ghosts can occur in the presence of either a transmembrane proton gradient, or a transmembrane potential gradient, and that the maximal rate of accumulation may exist when both components of the protonmotive force are present.[1]


  1. Biological amine transport in chromaffin ghosts. Coupling to the transmembrane proton and potential gradients. Johnson, R.G., Pfister, D., Carty, S.E., Scarpa, A. J. Biol. Chem. (1979) [Pubmed]
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