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Free Content Stereospecificity of NADH-ferricyanide reductase is a convenient marker for the endoplasmic reticulum of plant cells

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The stereospecificity of NADH-ferricyanide reductase and NADH-cytochrome c reductase in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) for the α-hydrogen on the nicotinamide ring is presented as a very sensitive and convenient assay to detect ER contamination in preparations of membranes lacking α-specific NADH-acceptor reductase, such as the plasma membrane and the tonoplast. The experimental details of the assay are given and the limitations explored (time-course, amount of protein, possible side reactions, speed, reproducibility, etc.). The NADH-ferricyanide reductase activity of plasma membranes from spinach and sugarbeet leaf was completely -specific and always showed a latency (increase upon addition of Triton X-100), whereas the α-specificity in the ER was non-latent. This is consistent with the presence of mainly right-side-out vesicles in preparations of plasma membranes with the binding site for NADH and ferricyanide on the inner, cytoplasmic surface. In contrast, right-side-out ER vesicles have the binding site on the outer, cytoplasmic surface. The addition of as little as 1% of the α-specific ER (on an NADH-ferricyanide activity basis) to the spinach leaf plasma membrane could be detected with the stereospecificity assay. Wheat root plasma membrane showed some α-specificity (in addition to -specificity) which was probably due to ER contamination since the activity was non-latent. The stereospecificity assay is also shown to be useful in monitoring the separation of tonoplast vesicles from ER vesicles by countercurrent distribution of a light microsomal fraction. It follows that the NADH-acceptor reductase activities in preparations of plasma membrane and tonoplast are due to distinct enzymes characteristic for those membranes.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 1996

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