Functional asymmetry of the amine transporter from chromaffin granules

R. Maron, Y. Stern, B. I. Kanner, S. Schuldiner

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The studies presented in this communication describe the existence of a pH-dependent kinetic barrier in amine translocation in membrane vesicles isolated from chromaffin granules from bovine adrenal medulla. This barrier prevents efflux of amines previously accumulated in the membrane vesicles. In these preparations, once the amine is accumulated, there is no further need for ATP. This would suggest a low permeability of the membrane, both to ions and to the amine. In addition, we show that under conditions which thermodynamically favour efflux this is kinetically blocked. This block is due to a rapid protonation of the transporter in the interior of the vesicle. Net efflux can be induced by agents that bring upon an alkalinization of the internal pH such as ammonium salts or nigericin. On the other hand, the rate of exchange with extravesicular substrate is almost identical at the various pH values tested. The physiological implications of this mechanism are discussed.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)11476-11481
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number19
StatePublished - 1983


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