The Journal of Membrane Biology

, Volume 61, Issue 3, pp 155–172 | Cite as

Regulation of passive potassium transport of normal and transformed 3T3 mouse cell cultures by external calcium concentration and temperature

  • M. Ernst
  • G. Adam


Regulation of passive potassium ion transport by the external calcium concentration and temperature was studied on cell cultures of 3T3 mouse cells and their DNA-virus transformed derivatives. Upon lowering of external calcium concentration, passive potassium efflux generally exhibits a sharp increase at about 0.1mm. The fraction of calcium-regulated potassium efflux is largely independent of temperature in the cases of the transformed cells, but shows a sharp increase for 3T3 cells upon increasing temperature above 32°C. In the same range of temperature, the 3T3 cells exhibit the phenomenon of high-temperature inactivation of the residual potassium efflux at 1mm external calcium. At comparable cellular growth densities, the transformed cell lines do not show high-temperature inactivation of “residual” potassium efflux. These results are consistent with the notion of a decisive role of the internal K+ concentration in the cell-density dependent regulation of cell proliferation. In particular, the growth-inhibiting effect of lowering the external Ca2+ concentrations is considered as largely due to a rise of passive K+ efflux and a subsequent decrease of internal K+ concentration. The experimental data on the Ca2+ dependence of passive K+ flux are quantitatively described by a theoretical model based on the constant field relations including negative surface charges on the external face of the membrane, which cooperatively bind Ca2+ ions and may concomitantly undergo a lateral redistribution. The present evidence is consistent with acidic phospholipids as representing these negative surface charges.

Key words

K+-transport Ca2+-effects 3T3 cells cell proliferation 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Ernst
    • 1
  • G. Adam
    • 1
  1. 1.Fakultät für BiologieUniversität KonstanzW. Germany

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