Plasma membrane vesiculation: a new technique for isolation of plasma membranes

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Science  12 Nov 1976:
Vol. 194, Issue 4266, pp. 743-745
DOI: 10.1126/science.982044


Monolayer cell cultures of macrophages, monocytes, myoblasts, and density-inhibited and transformed fibroblasts form and release cell surface membrane vesicles following exposure to formaldehyde, related low-molecular-weight aldehydes, and disulfide blocking agents. Vesicles have a unique composition of proteins and lipids. They show enrichment of cholesterol and sphingomyelin content and a seven-to tenfold enrichment of 5'-nucleotidase activity. Vesicles also contain intramembranous particles and show a trilamellar unit membrane and no ultrastructural evidence of contamination with other cytoplasmic organelles. The technique is proposed as a novel method for isolating plasma membrane vesicles from cells in culture.

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