Ahnert-Hilger, G. and Bhakdi, S. and Gratzl, Manfred
α-Toxin permeabilized rat pheochromocytoma cells. A new approach to investigate stimulus-secretion coupling.
In: Neuroscience Letters, Vol. 58: pp. 107-110
The channel forming α-toxin of Staphylococcus aureus (about 50 μg/ml) markedly reduces the Ca2+ requirement for dopamine release by the rat pheochromocytoma cell line (PC 12). Maximal secretion by intact cells requires approximately 1 mM Ca2+, whereas release by α-toxin-permeabilized cells can already be triggered with μM concentrations of Ca2+. The latter process reaches a plateau at about 1 μM free Ca2+ and increases again with 10–20 μM free Ca2+. The sensitivity to low concentrations of Ca2+ indicates that the toxin, as a selective cell membrane permeabilizing agent, can be used as a powerful instrument to study stimulus-secretion coupling.