The NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance) method of Conlon and Outhred (1972) was used to measure diffusional water permeability of the nodal cells of the green alga Chara gymnophylla. Two local minima at 15 and 30°C of diffusional water permeability (P d ) were observed delimiting a region of low activation energy (E a around 20 kJ/mol) indicative of an optimal temperature region for membrane transport processes. Above and below this region water transport was of a different type with high E a (about 70 kJ/mol). The triphasic temperature dependence of the water transport suggested a channel-mediated transport at 15–30°C and lipid matrix-mediated transport beyond this region. The K+ channel inhibitor, tetraethylammonium as well as the Cl− channel inhibitor, ethacrynic acid, diminished P d in the intermediate temperature region by 54 and 40%, respectively. The sulfhydryl agent p-(chloromercuri-benzensulfonate) the water transport inhibitor in erythrocytes also known to affect K+ transport in Chara, only increased P d below 15°C. In high external potassium (`K-state') water transport minima were pronounced. The role of K+ channels as sensors of the optimal temperature limits was further emphasized by showing a similar triphasic temperature dependence of the conductance of a single K+ channel also known to cotransport water, which originated from cytoplasmic droplets (putatively tonoplast) of C. gymnophylla. The minimum of K+ single channel conductance at around 15°C, unlike the one at 30°C, was sensitive to changes of growth temperature underlining membrane lipid involvement. The additional role of intracellular (membrane?) water in the generation of discontinuities in the above thermal functions was suggested by an Arrhenius plot of the cellular water relaxation rate which showed breaks at 13 and 29°C.
The Journal of Membrane Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 1, 1999
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