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J Exp Biol. 1994 Apr;189:55-67.

Potential differences influence amino acid/Na+ symport rates in larval Manduca sexta midgut brush-border membrane vesicles.

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Department of Biology, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA 19122.


The time-dependent fluorescence intensity of an intravesicular potential-sensitive dye was used to probe the real-time kinetics of potential difference (PD)-dependent amino acid/Na+ symport at pH9 into brush-border membrane vesicles obtained from larval Manduca sexta midgut. Neutral amino acids (alanine, proline) are symported at higher rates as the vesicles are hyperpolarized. The symport rates of acidic (glutamate) and basic (arginine) amino acids are almost PD-independent. The half-saturation constant of alanine is PD-independent between -108 and -78 mV, although the maximal symport velocity increases by half as the voltage is increased. Amino acid throughput is evidently enhanced as the relatively high transmembrane PDs (> 150 mV, lumen positive) measured in vivo are approached. The half-saturation concentrations of Na+ were in the range 15-40 mmol l-1 for most of the amino acids examined and increased with voltage for alanine. The Vmax observed as a function of cation or amino acid concentration increased as the vesicle was hyperpolarized in the case of leucine and alanine. The data support the hypothesis that carrier and substrates are at equilibrium inasmuch as substrate translocation seems to be the rate-determining step of symport.

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