Highly purified sarcoplasmic reticulum vesicles are devoid of Ca2+-independent (‘basal’) ATPase activity

J. L. Fernandez, M. Rosemblatt, C. Hidalgo

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113 Citations (Scopus)


On solubilization with Triton X-100 of sarcoplasmic reticulum vesicles isolated by differential centrifugation, the Ca2+-ATPase is selectively extracted while approximately half of the initial Mg2+-, or ‘basal’, ATPase remains in the Triton X-100 insoluble residue. The insoluble fraction, which does not contain the 100 000 dalton polypeptide of the Ca2+-ATPase, contains high levels of cytochrome c oxidase. Furthermore, its Mg2+-ATPase activity is inhibited by specific inhibitors of mitochondrial ATPase, indicating that the ‘basal’ ATPase separated from the Ca2+-ATPase by detergent extraction originates from mitochondrial contaminants. To minimize mitochondrial contamination, sarcoplasmic reticulum vesicles were fractionated by sedimentation in discontinuous sucrose density gradients into four fractions: heavy, intermediate and light, comprising among them 90–95% of the initial sarcoplasmic reticulum protein, and a very light fraction, which contains high levels of Mg2+-ATPase. Only the heavy, intermediate and light fractions originate from sarcoplasmic reticulum; the very light fraction is of surface membrane origin. Each fraction of sarcoplasmic reticulum origin was incubated with calcium phosphate in the presence of ATP and the loaded fractions were separated from the unloaded fractions by sedimentation in discontinuous sucrose density gradients. It was found that vesicles from the intermediate fraction had, after loading, minimal amounts of mitochondrial and surface membrane contamination, and displayed little or no Ca2+-independent basal ATPase activity. This shows conclusively that the basal ATPase is not an intrinsic enzymatic activity of the sarcoplasmic reticulum membrane, but probably originates from variable amounts of mitochondrial and surface membrane contamination in sarcoplasmic reticulum preparations isolated by conventional procedures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)552-568
Number of pages17
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Biomembranes
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1980


  • 4-morpholinepropanesulfonic acid
  • Ca-ATPase
  • EGTA
  • Mg-ATPase
  • Mops
  • SDS
  • Sarcoplasmic reticulum
  • Vesicle isolation
  • ethyleneglycol bis(β-aminoethyl ether)-N,N′-tetraacetic acid
  • sodium dodecyl sulfate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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