Brief sonication of whole erythrocyte plasma membranes (ghosts) from toads at 4 degrees does not inactivate adenylate cyclase [ATP pyrophosphate-lyase (cyclizing); EC 126.96.36.199] or destroy the receptor binding properties of hydroxybenzylpindolol or insulin. The hormonal (but not the fluoride-induced) stimulation of this enzyme is, however, lost. Fractionation of the small, resealed membrane fragments (vesicles) on discontinuous sucrose gradients results in the separation of vesicle populations differing grossly in size and protein composition. In addition, the distribution of the beta-adrenergic receptor, an insulin binding site, and adenylate cyclase among these vesicles fractions differs. The pattern of distribution of these functional structures can be altered differentially by manipulations of the ghosts before sonication. For example, brief preincubation with isoproterenol leads to a change in the relative distribution of beta-receptor (but not adenylate cyclase) among the various vesicle fractions; this effect is not obtained with beta-receptor antagonists, which block the isoproterenol effect. Exposure of the ghosts to different temperatures, changes in the divalent cation composition of the medium, or the addition of ATP also leads to changes in the distribution of surface markers of the subsequently formed vesicles. The results indicate gross asymmetries in the distribution of protein components within the plane of the membrane and raise important questions regarding the manner whereby functionally related and coupled components, such as hormone receptors and adenylate cyclase, interact.
Adenosine Triphosphate • Adenylate Cyclase • Animals • Binding Sites • Bufo marinus • Cations, Divalent • Enzyme Activation • Erythrocyte Membrane • Erythrocytes • Female • Fluorides • Guanine Nucleotides • Insulin • Isoproterenol • Receptors, Adrenergic • Receptors, Adrenergic, beta • Sonication • Temperature • blood* • drug effects • enzymology • metabolism • pharmacology • ultrastructure*