Potassium transport and content during G1 and S phase following serum stimulation of 3T3 cells

Joseph T. Tupper, Flavia Zorgniotti, Barry Mills

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83 Scopus citations


The effect of serum stimulation on unidirectional and net K flux and their relationship to the initiation of DNA synthesis has been investigated in mouse 3T3 fibroblasts. Stimulation of quiescent 3T3 cells with 20% serum results in the initiation of S phase approximately ten hours after serum addition. During transition from G1 to S phase distinct changes in K transport and cellular K content occur. Total unidirectional K influx undergoes an immediate 2‐fold increase upon serum addition, an observation in qualitative agreement with previous results (Rozengurt and Heppel, 1975). This total increase in unidirectional K influx represents a proportional increase in the active, ouabain sensitive component and the K‐K exchange component. The initial increase in total flux is followed by a gradual decline over a 16‐hour period to levels approaching those of quiescent cells. Following the initial increase in unidirectional K influx is an approximately 75% increase in cell K on a per milligram protein basis or a 40% increase on a per volume basis. This increase peaks at four to five hours and then declines to initial levels at 10 to 14 hours. Populations of quiescent cells given 20% serum plus 0.5 mM ouabain simultaneously are totally blocked from entering S phase, as determined by the appearance of 3H‐thymidine labeled nuclei. However, if the ouabain is removed after six hours these cells then undergo the same changes in unidirectional K influx and content as serum stimulated cells with entrance into S phase retarded by five to six hours. If ouabain is added to serum stimulated cells at six hours, after the increase in K transport and K content have occurred, entrance into S phase is not entirely blocked. In cells stimulated with serum and 0.5 mM dBcAMP plus 1 mM theophylline simultaneously, entrance into S phase is greatly reduced as compared to serum stimulation only. However, the early and late changes in K flux and K content are not substantially altered. This indicates that the K transport events associated with G1 and early S phase are not directly regulated by changes in cAMP levels which follow serum stimulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)429-440
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Cellular Physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1977

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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