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

Proton motive force and Na+/H+ antiport in a moderate halophile.

The influence of pH on the proton motive force of Vibrio costicola was determined by measuring the distributions of triphenylmethylphosphonium cation (membrane potential, delta psi) and either dimethyloxazolidinedione or methylamine (osmotic component, delta pH). As the pH of the medium was adjusted from 5.7 to 9.0, the proton motive force steadily decreased from about 170 to 100 mV. This decline occurred, despite a large increase in the membrane potential to its maximum value at pH 9.0, because of the loss of the pH gradient (inside alkaline). The cytoplasm and medium were of equal pH at 7.5; membrane permeability properties were lost at the pH extremes of 5.0 and 9. 5. Protonophores and monensin prevented the net efflux of protons normally found when an oxygen pulse was given to an anaerobic cell suspension. A Na+/H+ antiport activity was measured for both Na+ influx and efflux and was shown to be dissipated by protonophores and monensin. These results strongly favor the concept that respiratory energy is used for proton efflux and that the resulting proton motive force may be converted to a sodium motive force through Na+/H+ antiport (driven by delta psi). A role for antiport activity in pH regulation of the cytosol can also explain the broad pH range for optimal growth, extending to the alkaline extreme of pH 9.0.[1]


  1. Proton motive force and Na+/H+ antiport in a moderate halophile. Hamaide, F., Kushner, D.J., Sprott, G.D. J. Bacteriol. (1983) [Pubmed]
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