Coated vesicles from the brain have been purified to near morphological homogeneity by a modification of the method of Pearse. These vesicles resemble sarcoplasmic reticulum fragments isolated from skeletal muscle. They contain proteins with 100,000- and 55,000-dalton mol wt which co-migrate on polyacrylamide gels, in the presence of sodium dodecyl sulfate, with the two major proteins of the sarcoplasmic reticulum fragment. These vesicles contain adenosine triphosphatase (ATPase) activity which is stimulated by calcium ions in the presence of Triton X-100 (Rohm & Haas Co., Philadelphia, Pa.), displaying maximal activity at 8 x 10(-7) M Ca ++. They take up calcium ions from the medium, and this uptake is stimulated by ATP and by potassium oxalate, a calcium-trapping agent. The 100,000-dalton protein of the coated vesicles displays immunological reactivity with an antiserum directed against the 100,000-dalton, calcium-stimulated ATPase of the sarcoplasmic reticulum. As with the sarcoplasmic reticulum fragment, this protein becomes radiolabeled when coated vesicles are briefly incubated with gamma-labeled [32P]ATP. The possible functions of coated vesicles as calcium-sequestering organelles are discussed.

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