Freeze-thaw and high-voltage discharge allow macromolecule uptake into ileal brush-border vesicles

M. Donowitz, E. Emmer, J. McCullen, L. Reinlib, M. E. Cohen, R. P. Rood, J. Madara, G. W. Sharp, H. Murer, K. Malmstrom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


High-voltage discharge or one cycle of freeze-thawing are shown to transiently permeabilize rabbit ileal brush-border membrane vesicles to macromolecules. Uptake of the radiolabeled macromolecule dextran, mol wt 70,000, used as a marker for vesicle permeability, was determined by a rapid filtration technique, with uptake defined as substrate associated with the vesicle and releasable after incubation of vesicles with 0.1% saponin. Dextran added immediately after electric shock (2,000 V) or at the beginning of one cycle of freeze-thawing was taken up approximately eightfold compared with control; with both techniques, the concentration of dextran after being taken up into the vesicles was similar to that in the incubation medium, suggesting attainment of equilibrium. ATP also was taken up into freeze-thawed vesicles, whereas there was no significant uptake into control vesicles. The increase in vesicle permeability was reversible, based on Na-dependent D-glucose uptake being decreased when studied 5 but not 15 min after electric shock, and was not significantly decreased after completion of one cycle of freeze-thawing. In addition, adenosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate and Ca2+-calmodulin-dependent protein kinase activity were similar in control vesicles and vesicles exposed to high-voltage discharge or freeze-thawing. Also, vesicles freeze-thawed with [32P]ATP demonstrated increased phosphorylation compared with nonfrozen vesicles, while freeze-thawing did not alter vesicle protein as judged by Coomassie blue staining. These techniques should allow intestinal membrane vesicles to be used for studies of intracellular control of transport processes, for instance, studies of protein kinase regulation of transport.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)G723-G735
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number6 (15/6)
StatePublished - 1987
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Physiology (medical)


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