Lateral transport on cell membranes: mobility of concanavalin A receptors on myoblasts

J. Schlessinger, D. E. Koppel, D. Axelrod, K. Jacobson, W. W. Webb, E. L. Elson

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The authors report measurements of the lateral mobility of fluorescent labeled concanavalin A receptor complexes on the plasma membrane of cultured myoblasts of rat. Transport rates were measured by observing the recovery of fluorescence in a small region of the cell surface initially photobleached irreversibly by an intense, focused laser light pulse. Under different conditions we measured effective diffusion coefficients of the receptor complexes in the range 8 x 10- 12 ≤ D ≤ 3 x 10- 11 cm 2/sec which is two orders of magnitude lower than we found for a fluorescent lipid probe, D approx. equal to (8 ± 3) x 10- 9 cm 2/sec. This large difference and the presence of apparently immobile concanavalin A receptors suggests that factors beyond the fluidity of the phospholipid bilayer membrane matrix control the rate of lateral transport of the complexes. Effective mobilities of the complexes decrease with increases in the valence, dose, and occupation time of the lectin on the membrane. These properties imply an aggregation of the lectin receptor complexes. Mobilities are not influenced by azide, colchicine or preincubation at low temperature. Cytochalasin B and low temperatures, during the time of measurement, decrease the lateral transport rate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2409-2413
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1976


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