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

Generation of a transmembrane electric potential during respiration by Azotobacter vinelandii membrand vesicles.

Membrane vesicles isolated from Azotobacter vinelandii strain O by lysis of spheroplasts in potassium of sodium phosphate buffer develop a transmembrane electric potential during respiration. The magnitude of this potential was determined by three independent methods: (i) fluorescence of 3,3'-dipropylthiodicarbocyanine and 3,3'-dihexyloxacarbocyanine; (ii) uptake of 86Rb+ in the presence of valinomycin; and (iii) uptake of [3H]triphenylmethyl phosphonium. In method (i), the relative fluorescence of these cyanine dyes in the presence of intact cells or derived vesicles is quenched during oxication of electron donors. A linear relationship between this quenching and a potassium diffusion potential was employed to calibrate the probe response. In method (ii), the steady-state concentration ratio of rubidium across the vesicle membrane during oxidation of L-malate was converted to potential by the Nernst equation. In method (iii), the steady-state concentration ratio of this lipophilic cation was likewise converted to a potential. With the exception of 3,3'-dihexyloxacarbocyanine fluorescence, these methods gave good agreement for the potential developed during L-malate oxidation by membrane vesicles. A value of 75 to 80 mV (inside negative) was obtained for vesicles prepared in potassium phosphate, and 104 mV (inside negative) was obtained for vesicles prepared in sodium phosphate. Electrogenic expulsion of hydrogen ion was observed during L-malate oxidation, and the amount of proton exodus was greater in potassium rather than the sodium-containing vesicles. This indicates the presence of a sodium-proton antiport mechanism. In addition, D-glucose uptake was observed during development of a potassium diffusion potential that was artificially imposed across the vesicle membrane. These observations suggest the presence of a glucose-proton symport mechanism in accordance with the principles of Mitchell.[1]


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