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Isolation of sea urchin embryo cell surface membranes on polycationic beads

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Summary

Blastula cell surface membranes of the sea urchin, Strongylocentrotus purpuratus, were isolated on polycationic beads by a method modified from Jacobson and Branton (1977) and Jacobson (1980). This study represents the first application of this procedure to an embryonic system. Embryo cells were attached to polylysine-coated polyacrylamide beads and lysed, leaving the embryo cell surface membranes still attached to the beads, and cytoplasmic particles were washed free of the exposed inner surfaces of the membranes. Cell surface membrane sheets were desorbed from the beads and collected by centrifugation. Approximately 8% and 5% of the cell surface membranes of dissociated embryo cells were recovered on the beads and in the membrane pellet, respectively. Specific activities of [3H]concanavalin A-binding and of the cell surface marker enzymes, alkaline phosphatase and Na+/K+ ATPase, were 16-, 19-, and 32-fold higher, respectively, in the cell surface membrane fraction than in the embryo cell homogenate. Membranes were relatively free of cytoplasmic contaminants as judged from electron micrographs and enzyme analysis. Activities in the membrane fraction of the cytoplasmic marker enzymes, cytochrome c oxidase, catalase, acid phosphatase, NADP- and NADPH-cytochrome c reductase, and acetylcholinesterase, were substantially less than homogenate levels. The entire procedure can be completed in 4 h. Since this cell surface membrane isolation technique relies only on the tendency of a negatively charged cell to adhere to a positively charged surface, it is less likely than most other methods to exhibit species and developmental stage specificity and should prove useful in the study of the developmental role of embryonic stage-specific membrane components.

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Correspondence to Kenneth Michael Brown.

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Helmly, R.B., Brown, K.M. Isolation of sea urchin embryo cell surface membranes on polycationic beads. Roux's Arch Dev Biol 196, 262–267 (1987). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00376351

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Key words

  • Cell surface membrane isolation
  • Polycationic bead method
  • Sea urchin embryo