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

Active transport of thallous ions by Streptococcus lactis.

Tl+ ions have been shown to mimic or compete with K+ in a number of membrane systems. We confirmed that in starved, valinomycin-treated cells of Streptococcus lactis 7962, Tl+ ions distributed themselves across the bacterial membrane in response to the potassium diffusion potential. In glucose-energized cells, however, Tl+ was taken up by a system specifically stimulated by sodium salts. The intracellular levels of Tl+ exceeded those attained by [3H]triphenylmethylphosphonium ion, a lipophilic cation which accumulates in response to the membrane potential. The uptake of Tl+ by (Na+ and glucose)-stimulated cells was strongly inhibited by potassium salts. These experiments suggest that metabolic energy is coupled to Tl+ transport by means of a high energy phosphate compound and that Tl+ ions are actively transported by a membrane carrier whose normal substrate is K+. The uptake of Tl+ is not a valid method for determining the streptococcal membrane potential.[1]


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