The rate of appearance, in a population of mouse-human heterokaryons, of cells with intermixed mouse and human surface antigens may be used to estimate the rate of lateral diffusion of the antigens in a single cell. Most heterokaryons appear to restrict diffusion of their surface antigens. These restrictions are altered by exposing either heterokaryons or their parent cells to conditions that change cell surface membrane potential. Media containing unphysiological concentrations of potassium ion, drugs, affecting the Na+,K+ ATPase, or a channel-forming antibiotic, gramicidin, all affect lateral mobility of cell surface antigens in a manner consistent with a common effect on membrane potential.

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