A rapid method of preparing plasma membranes from isolated fat cells is described. After homogenization of the cells, various fractions were isolated by differential centrifugation and linear gradients. Ficoll gradients were preferred because total preparation time was under 3 hr. The density of the plasma membranes was 1.14 in sucrose. The plasma membrane fraction was virtually uncontaminated by nuclei but contained 10% of the mitochondrial succinic dehydrogenase activity and 25–30% of the RNA and reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide cytochrome c reductase activity of the microsomal fraction. Part of the RNA and NADH-cytochrome c reductase activity was believed to be native to the plasma membrane or to the attached endoplasmic reticulum membranes demonstrated by electron microscopy. The adenyl cyclase activity of the plasma membrane fraction was five times that of Rodbell's "ghost" preparation and retained sensitivity to epinephrine. The plasma membrane ATPase activity was five times that of the homogenate and microsomal fractions. Electron microscopic evidence suggested contamination of the plasma membrane fraction by other subcellular components to be less than the biochemical data indicated.

This content is only available as a PDF.