Human platelet plasma membranes were isolated with polylysine beads according to the technique developed by Jacobson and Branton (1977, Science [Wash. D. C.] 195:302--304). Lactoperoxidase-catalyzed surface iodination revealed that ninefold greater 125I specific activity was associated with the membranes isolated on beads than with whole platelets. Enrichment in the bead membrane preparation of the activities of membrane marker enzymes, bis(p-nitrophenyl)phosphate phosphodiesterase and Na,K-ATPase, was 8.0 and 4.4, respectively. Contamination with enzymes of other organelles, cytochrome oxidase and beta-glucuronidase, was relatively low as compared with membranes isolated by sucrose gradient centrifugation. Analysis by SDS polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis showed that a full complement of surface glycoproteins was present on the membranes isolated with polylysine beads. The polylysine bead technique is a rapid, reproducible and efficient method for the preparation of relatively pure platelet plasma membranes.

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