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Biochem J. 1965 Oct;97(1):214-27.

The connexion between active cation transport and metabolism in erythrocytes.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford.


1. A study has been made of the dependence on the concentrations of internal Na(+) and external K(+) of lactate and phosphate production in human erythrocytes. 2. Lactate production was stimulated by Na(+) and K(+) but only when they were internal and external respectively. The stimulation was counteracted by ouabain. The production of phosphate was affected in the same way. 3. There is a quantitative correlation between these effects and those previously found for cation movements and the membrane adenosine triphosphatase. 4. It is concluded that the rate of energy production in glycolysis is partly controlled by the magnitude of active transport; the extent of this regulation is shown to vary from 25 to 75% of a basal rate that is independent of active transport. 5. The activity of the membrane adenosine triphosphatase was also compared with rates of Na(+) and K(+) transport. The latter were varied by altering the concentrations of internal Na(+) and external K(+), and by inhibiting with ouabain. 6. A threefold variation of active transport rate was accompanied by a parallel change in the membrane adenosine-triphosphatase activity. The results show a constant stoicheiometry for the number of ions moved/mol. of ATP hydrolysed, independent of the electrochemical gradient against which the ions were moved. 7. Calculations show that the amount of ATP hydrolysed would provide enough energy for the osmotic work. The results are discussed in relation to possible mechanisms for active transport.

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