Antibodies to mammalian and plant V-ATPases cross react with the V-ATPase of insect cation-transporting plasma membranes.

V. E. Russell, U. Klein, M. Reuveni, D. D. Spaeth, M. G. Wolfersberger, W. R. Harvey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In immunobiochemical blots, polyclonal antibodies against subunits of plant and mammalian vacuolar-type ATPases (V-ATPases) cross-react strongly with corresponding subunits of larval Manduca sexta midgut plasma membrane V-ATPase. Thus, rabbit antiserum against Kalanchoe daigremontiana tonoplast V-ATPase holoenzyme cross-reacts with the 67, 56, 40, 28 and 20 kDa subunits of midgut V-ATPase separated by SDS-PAGE. Antisera against bovine chromaffin granule 72 and 39 kDa V-ATPase subunits cross-react with the corresponding 67 and 43 kDa subunits of midgut V-ATPase. Antisera against the 57 kDa subunit of both beet root and oat root V-ATPase cross-react strongly with the midgut 56 kDa V-ATPase subunit. In immunocytochemical light micrographs, antiserum against the beet root 57 kDa V-ATPase subunit labels the goblet cell apical membrane of both posterior and anterior midgut in freeze-substituted and fixed sections. The plant antiserum also labels the apical brush-border plasma membrane of Malpighian tubules. The ability of antibodies against plant V-ATPase to label these insect membranes suggests a high sequence homology between V-ATPases from plants and insects. Both of the antibody-labelled insect membranes transport K+ and both membranes possess F1-like particles, portasomes, on their cytoplasmic surfaces. This immunolabelling by xenic V-ATPase antisera of two insect cation-transporting membranes suggests that the portasomes on these membranes may be V-ATPase particles, similar to those reported on V-ATPase-containing vacuolar membranes from various sources.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-143
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Experimental Biology
StatePublished - May 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Physiology
  • Aquatic Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Insect Science


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