• Journal Article

Determination of osmotic volumes and pH gradients of plant membrane and lipid vesicles using ESR spectroscopy

Citation

Lomax, T., & Mehlhorn, R. J. (1985). Determination of osmotic volumes and pH gradients of plant membrane and lipid vesicles using ESR spectroscopy. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Biomembranes, 821(1), 106-114. DOI: 10.1016/0005-2736(85)90160-9

Abstract

Volumes and pH gradients were determined with spin probes in liposomes and zucchini membrane vesicles by quantitating the internal concentrations of probes in the presence of an impermeable line-broadening agent, manganese + EDTA. Volume shrinkage in response to increasing external concentrations of MnEDTA was consistent with perfect osmotic behavior of both vesicle populations. Buffer additions were used to impose pH gradients on the vesicles; liposome gradients measured with a spin-labeled weak acid were slightly smaller than the maximum theoretical imposed gradients, whereas above a threshold magnitude, measured gradients for the plant membranes were significantly smaller than imposed gradients. However, the residual pH gradient in the zucchini vesicles decreased at about the same rate as the liposome gradient. Moreover, this residual gradient was not completely collapsed in the presence of the proton ionophore, FCCP, indicating that the vesicles were impermeable to ions; indeed, ion permeabilities of both vesicle preparations appeared to be similar during the slow phase of the pH gradient collapse. Thus, zucchini membrane vesicles are tightly sealed and appear to have a mechanism for dissipating pH gradients rapidly when these gradients exceed some threshold value