The separation of membrane fragments was investigated in extracts of phototropically grown Rhodopseudomonas sphaeroides to determine if the plasma membrane contains discrete regions. A highly purified fraction of bacteriochlorophyll a-deficient membrane fragments was isolated by differential centrifugation, chromatography on Sepharose 2B, reaggregation, and isopycnic sedimentation on sucrose gradients. Significant levels of b- and c-type cytochromes and succinate dehydrogenase were demonstrated in the isolated membrane fragments and their appearance in electron micrographs, their polypeptide profile in dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, and overall chemical composition were essentially identical to a similar fraction isolated from aerobically grown cells. Their polypeptide profiles were distinct from those of the intracytoplasmic chromatophore and outer membranes, and on the basis of bacteriochlorophyll content the phototrophic fraction was contaminated with chromatophores by <9%. The membrane fragments contained no diaminopimelic acid or glucosamine. It is concluded that the membrane fragments isolated from phototrophically growing Rp. sphaeroides have arisen from photosynthetic pigment-depleted regions of the plasma membrane structurally and functionally differentiated from the intracytoplasmic chromatophore membrane. These regions represent conserved chemotrophic cytoplasmic membrane whose synthesis continues under photoheterotrophic conditions.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cell Biology