The lipid composition of rough and smooth microsomal membranes, zymogen granule membranes, and a plasmalemmal fraction from the guinea pig pancreatic exocrine cell has been determined. As a group, membranes of the smooth variety (i.e., smooth microsomes, zymogen granule membranes, and the plasmalemma) were similar in their content of phospholipids, cholesterol and neutral lipids, and in the ratio of total lipids to membrane proteins. In contrast, rough microsomal membranes contained much less sphingomyelin and cholesterol and possessed a smaller lipid/protein ratio. All membrane fractions were unusually high in their content of lysolecithin (up to ∼20% of the total phospholipids) and of neutral lipids, especially fatty acids. The lysolecithin content was shown to be due to the hydrolysis of membrane lecithin by pancreatic lipase; the fatty acids, liberated by the action of lipase on endogenous triglyceride stores, are apparently scavenged by the membranes from the suspending media. Similar artifactually high levels of lysolecithin and fatty acids were noted in hepatic microsomes incubated with pancreatic postmicrosomal supernatant. E 600, an inhibitor of lipase, largely prevented the appearance of lysolecithin and fatty acids in pancreatic microsomes and in liver microsomes treated with pancreatic supernatant.

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