PMID: 5013603Apr 1, 1972Paper

Lumenal plasma membrane of the urinary bladder. I. Three-dimensional reconstruction from freeze-etch images

The Journal of Cell Biology
L A StaehelinM A Bonneville


To determine the three-dimensional structure of the lumenal membrane of transitional epithelium, a study was made of sectioned, negatively stained, and freeze-etched specimens from intact epithelium and membrane fractions from rabbit urinary bladder. Particulate membrane components are confined to plaque regions within which the unit membrane is asymmetric, having a thicker outer leaflet. Transversely fractured freeze-etched plaques display a thick ( approximately 80 A), particulate lumenal leaflet and a thin ( approximately 40 A) cytoplasmic one. Four different faces of the two leaflets can be distinguished: two complementary, split, inner membrane faces exposed by freeze-cleaving the bilayer and two external (lumenal and cytoplasmic) membrane surfaces revealed by deep-etching. On the split, inner face of the lumenal leaflet appear polygonal plaques of hexagonally arranged particles. These fit into holes observed on the complementary, split, innerface of the cytoplasmic leaflet. The particles, which have a center-to-center spacing of approximately 160 A, also seem to protrude from the external surface of the lumenal leaflet, where their subunits ( approximately 50 A in diameter) are revealed by freeze-etching and negative stai...Continue Reading


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