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Biochemistry. 1983 Feb 15;22(4):899-903.

Measurements of cytoplasmic and vacuolar pH in Neurospora using nitrogen-15 nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy.


The nitrogen-15 chemical shift of the N1 (tau)-nitrogen of 15N-labeled histidine and the half-height line widths of proton-coupled resonances of the delta- and omega,omega'-nitrogens of 15N-labeled arginine and of the alpha-nitrogens of 15N-labeled alanine and proline were measured in intact mycelia of Neurospora crassa to obtain to estimates of intracellular pH. For intracellular 15N-labeled histidine, the N1 (tau)-nitrogen chemical shift was 200.2 ppm. In vitro measurements showed that the chemical shift was slightly affected by the presence of phosphate, with which the basic amino acids may be associated in vivo. These considerations indicate a pH of 5.7-6.0 for the environment of intracellular histidine. The half-height line widths of the delta- and omega,omega'-nitrogens of [15N]arginine were 15 and 26 Hz, respectively. In vitro studies showed that these line widths also are influenced by the presence of phosphate, and, after suitable allowance for this, the line widths indicate pH 6.1-6.5 for intracellular arginine. The half-height line widths for intracellular alanine and proline were 17 and 12 Hz, respectively, which are consistent with an intracellular pH of 7.1-7.2. Pools of histidine and arginine are found principally in the vacuole of Neurospora, most likely in association with polyphosphates. Proline and alanine are cytoplasmic. The results reported here are consistent with these localizations and indicate that the vacuolar pH is 6.1 +/- 0.4 while the cytoplasmic pH is 7.15 +/- 0.10. Comparisons of these estimates with those obtained by other techniques and their implications for vacuolar function are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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