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Biochim Biophys Acta. 1975 Apr 21;389(1):51-68.

Isolation and characterization of two types of sarcoplasmic reticulum vesicles.


A purified preparation of sarcoplasmic reticulum from rabbit skeletal muscle has been found to consist of a heterogeneous population of vesicles. Isopycnic centrifugation was used to obtain "light" and "heavy" vesicles from the upper and lower ends of a 25 to 45% (w/w) linear sucrose gradient. Each fraction accounted for about 10 to 15% of the total vesicles. The remainder of the vesicles were of intermediate density and banded between the light and heavy fraction. Light vesicles were composed of about equal amounts of phospholipid and Ca-2+ pump protein which contained approx. 90% of the protein. Heavy vesicles contained in addition to the Ca-2+ pump protein (55-65% of the protein) two other major protein components, the Ca-2+ binding and M55 proteins which accounted for 20-25 and 5-7% of the protein of these vesicles, respectively. The sarcoplasmic reticulum subfractions had 32-P-labelled phosphoenzyme levels proportional to their Ca-2+ pump protein content and contained similar Ca-2+-stimulated ATPase activities. They were capable of accumulating Ca-2+ in the presence of ATP and of releasing the accumulated Ca-2+ when placed into a medium with a low Ca-2+ concentration. The vesicles differed significantly in that heavy vesicles had a greater number of non-specific Ca-2+ binding sites than light vesicles (approx. 220 vs 75 nmol of bound Ca-2+ per mg protein), in accordance with their high content of Ca-2+ binding protein. Electron dense material could be seen within the compartment of heavy but not light vesicles. Removal of Ca-2+ binding and M55 proteins from heavy vesicles resulted in empty membranous structures consisting mainly of Ca-2+ pump protein and phospholipid. Electron micrographs of sections of muscle showed dense material in terminal cisternae but not in longitudinal sections of sarcoplasmic reticulum. These experiments are consistent with the interpretation that (1) the electron dense material inside heavy vesicles may be referable to Ca-2+ binding and/or M55 proteins, and that (2) light and heavy vesicles may be derived from the longitudinal sections and terminal cisternae of sarcoplasmic reticulum, respectively.

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