Jul 29, 1982

Physiological [Ca2+]i level and pump-leak turnover in intact red cells measured using an incorporated Ca chelator

V L LewR M Bookchin


The physiological actions of Ca2+ as a trigger and second messenger depend on the maintenance of large inward resting Ca2+ gradients across the cell plasma membrane. An ATP-fuelled Ca-pump, originally discovered and still best characterized in human red cells, is now believed to mediate resting Ca2+ extrusion in most animal cells. However, even in red cells, the truly physiological pump-leak turnover rate and cytoplasmic free Ca2+ level are unknown. Previous estimates were only very imprecise upper limits because normal intact red cells have a minute total pool of exchangeable Ca of less than 1 mumol 1 cells; Ca fluxes could not be measured without artificially increasing that pool with ionophores or disrupting the membrane to incorporate Ca buffers. Both procedures leave the membrane considerably leakier than in intact cells. Here, we have increased the exchangeable Ca pool by non-disruptively loading a Ca-chelator into intact cells, using intracellular hydrolysis of a membrane-permeant ester. The trapped chelator made the free cytoplasmic calcium concentration, [Ca2+]i, an easily defined function of directly measurable total cell Ca. We were then able to establish the physiological steady-state [Ca2+]i and pump-leak turnover ...Continue Reading

Mentioned in this Paper

Second messenger
Chelator (genus)
Chelating Agents
Glucose, (beta-D)-Isomer
Ion Channel

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