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EMBO J. 1989 Oct;8(10):2835-41.

Comparative studies on the electrical properties of the H+ translocating ATPase and pyrophosphatase of the vacuolar-lysosomal compartment.

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  • 1Pflanzenphysiologisches Institut, Universität Göttingen, FRG.


The electrical properties of the vacuolar-lysosomal H+ pumps were studied by direct measurement of the pump currents using the whole-cell configuration of the patch-clamp technique. Both pumps, the proton-translocating ATPase and pyrophosphatase, when activated by MgATP or inorganic Mg pyrophosphate (MgPP(i)), transport protons into the vacuole and polarize the membrane potential (positive inside the vacuole). Accumulation of protons in the lumen of vacuole vesicles was monitored by absorbance changes of the pH probe, acridine orange. The electrochemical gradient provided by both the ATPase and pyrophosphatase stimulates effectively the uptake of various metabolites such as malate, citrate and sucrose. The maximal current density produced by the ATPase was about 2.5 microA/cm2 and about 0.5 microA/cm2 for the pyrophosphatase. K(m)ATP was 0.6 mM; K(m)PPi was 15-20 microM with progressive inhibition above 150 microM. At a cytoplasmic pH of 7.5 both enzymes were capable of pumping protons against a 10,000-fold concentration gradient (pH 3.5 inside the vacuole). Proton current produced by the ATPase was blocked reversibly by extravacuolar NO(3)- only.

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