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Ahnert-Hilger, G.; Bhakdi, S. und Gratzl, Manfred (1985): Minimal requirements for exocytosis. A study using PC 12 cells permeabilized with staphylococcal alpha-toxin. In: Journal of Biological Chemistry, Vol. 260: S. 12730-12734




The membrane-permeabilizing effects of streptolysin O, staphylococcal alpha-toxin, and digitonin on cultured rat pheochromocytoma cells were studied. All three agents perturbed the plasma membrane, causing release of intracellular 86Rb+ and uptake of trypan blue. In addition, streptolysin O and digitonin also damaged the membranes of secretory vesicles, including a parallel release of dopamine. In contrast, the effects of alpha-toxin appeared to be strictly confined to the plasma membrane, and no dopamine release was observed with this agent. The exocytotic machinery, however, remained intact and could be triggered by subsequent introduction of micromolar concentrations of Ca2+ into the medium. Dopamine release was entirely Ca2+ specific and occurred independent of the presence or absence of other cations or anions including K+ glutamate, K+ acetate, or Na+ chloride. Ca2+-induced exocytosis did not require the presence of Mg2+-ATP in the medium. The process was insensitive to pH alterations in the range pH 6.6-7.2, and appeared optimal at an osmolarity of 300 mosm/kg. Toxin permeabilization seems to be an excellent method for studying the minimal requirements for exocytosis.