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J Biol Chem. 1978 Jan 25;253(2):451-7.

Intracytoplasmic membrane synthesis in synchronous cell populations of Rhodopseudomonas sphaeroides. Fate of "old" and "new" membrane.


A nonspecific density labeling technique has been employed to monitor the synthesis of intracytoplasmic membrane in synchronously dividing populations of Rhodopseudomonas sphaeroides. The intracytoplasmic membranes of cells synchronized in D2O-based medium were found to undergo discontinuous decreases in specific density during synchronous cell growth following transfer to H2O-based medium. These abrupt decreases in membrane specific density occurred immediately prior to cell division and were not observed with intracytoplasmic membranes prepared from asynchronously dividing cells (see also Kowakowski, H., and Kaplan, S. (1974) J. Bacteriol. 118, 1144-1157). Discontinuous increases in the net accumulation of cellular phospholipid were also observed during the synchronous growth of R. sphaeroides. This is to be contrasted to the continuous insertion of protein and the photopigment components of the photosynthetic apparatus into the intracytoplasmic membrane during the cell division cycle (Fraley, R.T., Lueking, D.R., and Kaplan, S. (1978) J. Biol. Chem. 253, 458-464; Wraight, C.A., Lueking, D.R., Fraley, R.T., and Kaplan, S. (1978) J. Biol. Chem. 253, 465-471). Further, examination of the protein/phospholipid ratios of purified intracytoplasmic membrane preparations revealed that this ratio undergoes cyclical changes of 35 to 40% during a normal cycle of cell division. In contrast to the results of Ferretti and Gray ((1968) J. Bacteriol, 95, 1400-1406), DNA synthesis was found to occur in a stepwise manner in synchronously dividing cell populations of R. sphaeroides.

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