, Volume 33, Issue 1, pp 63-108

1-Anilino-8-naphthalenesulfonate: A fluorescent probe of ion and ionophore transport kinetics and trans-membrane asymmetry

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The kinetics of the transport of the 1-anilino-8-naphthalenesulfonate (ANS, an anionic fluorescent probe of the membrane surface) across phospholipid vesicle membranes have been studied using a stopped-flow rapid kinetic technique. The method has been used to gain detailed information about the mechanism of transport of this probe and to study ionophore-mediated cation transport across the membrane. The technique has also been exploited to study differences between the inside and outside surfaces of vesicles containing phosphatidyl choline (PC).

The following is a summary of the major conclusions of this study. (a) Binding of ANS on the outside surface occurs within times shorter than 100 μsec while permeation occurs in the time range 5–100 sec. (b) Net transport of ANS occurs with cotransport of alkali cations. (c) The transport rate is maximal in the region of the crystalline to liquidcrystalline phase transition, and the increase correlates with changes in the degree of aggregation of the vesicles. (d) Incorporation of phosphatidic acid (PA), phosphatidyl ethanolamine (PE) or cholesterol into PC membranes decreases the rate of ANS transport. (e) Neutral ionophores (I) of the valinomycin type increase ANS permeability in the presence of alkali cations (M +) by a mechanism involving the transport of a ternaryI−M +-ANS complex. The equilibrium constants for formation of these complexes and their rate constants for their permeation are presented. The maximal turnover number for ANS transport by valinomycin in dimyristoyl PC vesicles at 35°C was 46 per sec. (f) The partitioning of the ionophore between the aqueous and membrane phases and the rate of transfer of an ionophore from one membrane have been determined in kinetic experiments. (g) A method is described for the detection ofI−M + complexes on the membrane surface by their enhancement effects on ANS fluorescence at temperature below the phase transition temperature on “monolayer” vesicles. The apparent stability constants for severalI−M + complexes are given. (h) Analysis of the effect of ionic strength on the ANS binding to the inside outside surfaces indicates that the electrostatic surface potential (at fixed ionic strength and surface change) is larger for the inside surface than for the outside surface. (i) Analysis of the dependence of the maximal ANS binding for the inside and outside surfaces of vesicles made from PC and a variable mole fraction of PA, PE or cholesterol indicate that the latter three are located preferentially on the inside surface.