Labelling of intestinal brush border membrane proteins in vivo using diazotised [125I]iodosulfanilic acid

Graeme P. Young, David H. Alpers

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Membrane proteins of the intestinal brush border were labelled in vivo by intraluminal injection of diazotised [125I]iodosulfanilic acid, a highly polar molecule. Sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of brush border membranes labelled in this manner showed 20 protein bands, 11 of which contained significant radioactivity. The most heavily labelled proteins had molecular weights greater than 150 000, indicating that they were the most exposed to the intestinal lumen. Little radioactivity was detected in proteins with molecular weights of less than 94 000. The majority of these smaller proteins were likely to have been brush border core proteins. The evidence that diazotised [125I]iodosulfanilic acid bound primarily to brush border membrane proteins when administered in this way, was: (a) the specific activity of brush border proteins was up to 3-fold greater than that of total cell particulate proteins (pelleted at 27 000 × g from mucosal homogenates); (b) principal peaks in the gel radioactivity profile of total cell particulate proteins corresponded to the most heavily labelled proteins of the isolated brush border membrane; and (c) brush border core proteins showed minimal radioactivity in vivo, but considerably higher radioactivity when brush border membranes were labelled in vitro. A small amount of label was absorbed across the intestinal mucosa. However, secondary labelling of brush border proteins by this absorbed label was minimal, since the specific activity of brush border proteins in jejunum adjacent to the labelled loop was only 0.22% of the level for those proteins in the labelled segment. Since this technique did not affect the cellular morphology, enzyme activity or biochemical integrity of the membrane, it should prove useful as a means of accurately studying in vivo turnover rates of brush border membrane proteins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-141
Number of pages11
JournalBBA - Biomembranes
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jan 1981
Externally publishedYes


  • (Brush border membrane)
  • Iodosulfanilic acid
  • Membrane protein labeling


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