Journal of comparative physiology

, Volume 148, Issue 3, pp 303–311 | Cite as

A biochemical approach to the electrogenic potassium pump of insect sensilla: Potassium sensitive ATPases in the labellum of the fly

  • Helmut Wieczorek


A membrane bound, potassium sensitive ATPase which occurs in the proboscis ofProtophormia terraenovae (Diptera, Calliphoridae) is described. This ATPase activity is found only in the sensilla-rich labella but not in the haustella which contain few sensilla. Density gradient centrifugation shows that the enzyme is not of mitochondrial origin. It is insensitive to sodium azide, a specific inhibitor of mitochondrial ATPases, and has a relatively low affinity to potassium: half maximal activation is reached at approximately 70 mmol/l potassium.

It is suggested that the potassium activated ATPase in the labellum of the fly is an integral constituent of the electrogenic potassium pump, which may be important for the generation of receptor currents.


Enzyme Sodium Potassium Centrifugation Azide 
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transepithelial voltage


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Helmut Wieczorek
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für ZoologieUniversität RegensburgRegensburgGermany

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