The components of Na and K flux across the plasma membrane have been investigated in the Ehrlich ascites tumor cell. At intracellular K levels of approximately 100 mm, unidirectional K influx is composed of a ouabain-sensitive component, a ouabain-insensitive, nondiffusional component and a diffusional component. Unidirectional K efflux is composed of an external K-dependent component and a diffusional component. Upon reduction of intracellular K to approximately 50 mm, the external K-dependent component becomes maximal and diminishes upon further reduction of intracellular K. Unidirectional Na efflux is composed of a ouabain-sensitive component, a diffusional component and a saturable, external Na-dependent, ouabain-insensitive component. Unidirectional Na influx may be accounted for by a diffusional component, based on estimates of membrane permeability to Na, membrane potential and Na distribution. This would suggest that the ouabain-insensitive, external Na-dependent Na efflux is not Na-Na exchange. The origin of the cell membrane potential has not been previously established in the Ehrlich ascites cell. From the diffusional components of Na and K flux determined in these experiments, the membrane permeabilities to Na and K have been estimated. These permeabilities, in conjunction with the Na and K distributions across the plasma membrane, predict a cell membrane potential of -18 mV (inside negative). Passive Cl distributions in these cells predict a cell membrane potential of -21 mV, which is in agreement with previous microelectrode measurements and dibenzyldimethylammonium distributions. The results are therefore consistent with the conclusion that the magnitude and polarity of the cell membrane potential in the Ehrlich ascites cell is dictated primarily by Na and K.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology