PMID: 19148365Jan 17, 2009Paper

Toluene permeabilization differentially affects F- and P-type ATPase activities present in the plasma membrane of Streptococcus mutans

Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research = Revista Brasileira De Pesquisas Médicas E Biológicas
Geraldo ThedeiPietro Ciancaglini


Streptococcus mutans membrane-bound P- and F-type ATPases are responsible for H+ extrusion from the cytoplasm thus keeping intracellular pH appropriate for cell metabolism. Toluene-permeabilized bacterial cells have long been used to study total membrane-bound ATPase activity, and to compare the properties of ATPase in situ with those in membrane-rich fractions. The aim of the present research was to determine if toluene permeabilization can significantly modify the activity of membrane-bound ATPase of both F-type and P-type. ATPase activity was assayed discontinuously by measuring phosphate release from ATP as substrate. Treatment of S. mutans membrane fractions with toluene reduced total ATPase activity by approximately 80% and did not allow differentiation between F- and P-type ATPase activities by use of the standard inhibitors vanadate (3 microM) and oligomycin (4 microg/mL). Transmission electron microscopy shows that, after S. mutans cells permeabilization with toluene, bacterial cell wall and plasma membrane are severely injured, causing cytoplasmic leakage. As a consequence, loss of cell viability and disruption of H+ extrusion were observed. These data suggest that treatment of S. mutans with toluene is an efficient m...Continue Reading


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Cell Membrane Permeability
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