Enhanced separation of membranes during free flow zonal electrophoresis in plants

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Barkla, BJ, Vera-Estrella, R & Pantoja, O 2007, 'Enhanced separation of membranes during free flow zonal electrophoresis in plants', Analytical Chemistry, vol. 79, no. 14, pp. 5181-5187.

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Free flow zonal electrophoresis (FFZE) is a versatile technique that allows for the separationof cells, organelles, membranes, and proteins based on net surface charge during laminar flow through a thin aqueous layer. We have been optimizing the FFZE technique to enhanceseparation of plant vacuolar membranes (tonoplast) from other endomembranes to pursue a directed proteomics approach to identify novel tonoplast transporters. Addition of ATP to a mixture of endomembranes selectively enhanced electrophoretic mobility of acidic vesicular compartments during FFZE toward the positive electrode. This has been attributed to activation of the V-ATPase generating a more negative membrane potential outside the vesicles, resulting in enhanced migration of acidic vesicles, including tonoplast, to the anode (Morré, D. J.; Lawrence, J.; Safranski, K.; Hammond, T.; Morré, D. M. J. Chromatogr., A1994, 668, 201−213). We confirm that ATP does induce a redistribution of membranes during FFZE of microsomal membranes isolated from several plant species, including Arabidopsis thaliana, Thellungiella halophila, Mesembryanthemum crystallinum, and Ananas comosus. However, we demonstrate, using V-ATPase-specific inhibitors, nonhydrolyzable ATP analogs, and ionophores to dissipate membrane potential, that the ATP-dependent migrational shift of membranes under FFZE is not due to activation of the V-ATPase. Addition of EDTA to chelate Mg2+, leading to the production of the tetravalent anionic form of ATP, resulted in a further enhancement of membrane migration toward the anode, and manipulation of cell surface charge by addition of polycations also influenced the ATP-dependent migration of membranes. We propose that ATP enhances the mobility of endomembranes by screening positive surface charges on the membrane surface.

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