Potassium transport in normal and transformed mouse 3T3 cells

Santa Spaggiare, Michael J. Wallach, Joseph T. Tupper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


The components of unidirectional K influx and efflux have been investigated in the 3T3 cell and the SV40 transformed 3T3 cell in exponential and stationary growth phase. Over the cell densities used for transport experiments the 3T3 cell goes from exponential growth to density dependent inhibition of growth (4 × 104 to 4 × 105 cell cm−2) whereas the SV40 3T3 maintains exponential or near exponential growth (4 × 104 to 1 × 106 cell cm−2). In agreement with previous observations, volume per cell and mg protein per cell decrease with increasing cell density. Thus, transport measurements have been expressed on a per volume basis. Total unidirectional K influx and efflux in the 3T3 cell is approximately double that of the SV40 3T3 cell at all cell densities investigated. Both cell types have similar volumes initially and show similar decreases with increasing cell density. Thus, in this clone of the 3T3 cell SV40 transformation specifically decreases unidirectional K flux. The magnitude of the total K flux does not change substantially for either cell line during transition from sparse to dense cultures. However, the components of the K transport undergo distinct changes. Both cell lines possess a ouabain sensitive component of K influx, presumably representing the active inward K pump. Both also possess components of K influx and efflux sensitive to furosemide. The data suggest this component represents a one‐for‐one K exchange mechanism. The fraction of K influx mediated by the ouabain sensitive component is reduced to one half its value when exponential versus density inhibited 3T3 cells are compared (63% versus 31% of total influx). No comparable drop occurs in the SV40 3T3 cell at equivalent cell densities (64% versus 56% of total influx). Thus, the pump mediated component of K influx would appear to be correlated with growth. In contrast, the furosemide sensitive component represents approximately 20% of the total unidirectional K influx and efflux in both cell lines in sparse culture. At high cell densities, where growth inhibition occurs in the 3T3 cell but not the SV40 3T3, the furosemide sensitive component doubles in both cell lines. Thus, the apparent K‐K exchange mechanism is density dependent rather than growth dependent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)403-416
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Cellular Physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 1976

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Potassium transport in normal and transformed mouse 3T3 cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this