About 20 and 43% of the total membrane phospholipids are hydrolized in fresh rat erythrocytes by treatment with phospholipase C (Bacillus cereus), or both sphingomyelinase and phospholipase C, respectively, without causing cell lysis. Treatment of ATP-depleted cells with phospholipase C alone results in 50% hydrolysis and extensive lysis. Depletion of ATP causes a marked increase in the aggregation of intramembranous particles accompanied by a similar increase in the smooth area between the particle clusters as revealed by the freeze-etch technique. Such changes are not induced by extensive phospholipid hydrolysis in absence of cell lysis in fresh cells. Based on these and additional data, it is suggested that the membrane phospholipid organization can be divided into 3 types: phospholipids exposed to phospholipase C; phospholipids protected against phospholipase C by presence of sphingomyelin; phospholipids which can be exposed following alteration of the proteinlipid interactions. Such alterations which might be induced by a variety of means, including ATP depletion, might result in clustering of intramembranous particles and increase of the free lipid bilayer phase of the membrane.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology