Changes of some physical properties of isolated and purified plasma and thylakoid membrane vesicles from the freshwater cyanobacterium Synechococcus 6301 (Anacystis nidulans) during adaptation to salinity
Rivière, M.E.; Arrio, B.; Steffan, I.; Molitor, V.; Kuntner, O.; Peschek, G.A.
Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics 280(1): 159-166
Photoautotrophically growing cultures of the freshwater cyanobacterium Anacystis nidulans (Synechococcus sp.) became adapted to the presence of 0.4-0.5 M NaCl in the growth medium (about seawater level) with a lag phase of 2 days after which time the growth rate resumed at 80-90% of the control. Major changes in structure and function of the plasma membranes (and, to a much lesser extent, of the thylakoid membranes) were found to accompany the adaptation process. Plasma and thylakoid membranes were separated from crude cell-free extracts of French pressure cell-treated Anacystis by discontinuous sucrose density gradient centrifugation and purified by repeated recentrifugation on fresh gradients. Concentrations of copper, iron, calcium, and magnesium ions were determined by inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry with EDTA-washed and dialyzed membrane preparations; salt adaptation was found to increase (decrease) the concentration of membrane-bound calcium in plasma (thylakoid) membranes, qualitatively reciprocal results being obtained for magnesium. Levels of plasma membrane-bound copper and iron roughly tripled during the adaptation process; by contrast, corresponding effects on thylakoid membranes were negligible. The size of the membrane vesicles was measured by quasi-elastic laser light-scattering and the electric surface charge of the membranes was measured by laser Doppler velocimetry. Salt adaptation decreased the mean diameter of plasma membrane vesicles to a much higher extent than that of thylakoid membrane vesicles. Overall surface charge densities of resting vesicles were only slightly affected by the salt treatment as was also seen from titration of the electrophoretic mobility of the vesicles with electrolytes. Yet, induction of (photosynthetic or respiratory) electron transport provoked a charge separation across the membrane which was easily measurable in terms of electrophoretic mobility. The results will be discussed with particular emphasis on the stimulated cytochrome c oxidase activity of plasma (but not thylakoid) membranes from salt-adapted cells compared to control cells and also with respect to the decreased ion permeability of the plasma membrane of salt grown cells.