Preparations enriched with plasmalemmal, outer mitochondrial, or Golgi complex membranes from rat liver were subfractionated by isopycnic centrifugation, without or after treatment with digitonin, to establish the subcellular distribution of a variety of enzymes. The typical plasmalemmal enzymes 5'-nucleotidase, alkaline phosphodiesterase I, and alkaline phosphatase were markedly shifted by digitonin toward higher densities in all three preparations. Three glycosyltransferases, highly purified in the Golgi fraction, were moderately shifted by digitonin in both this Golgi complex preparation and the microsomal fraction. The outer mitochondrial membrane marker, monoamine oxidase, was not affected by digitonin in the outer mitochondrial membrane marker, monoamine oxidase, was not affected by digitonin in the out mitochondrial membrane preparation, in agreement wit its behavior in microsomes. With the exception of NADH cytochrome c reductase (which was concentrated in the outer mitochondrial membrane preparation), typical microsomal enzymes (glucose-6-phosphatase, esterase, and NADPH cytochrome c reductase) displayed low specific activities in the three preparations; except for part of the glucose-6-phosphatase activity in the plasma membrane preparation, their density distributions were insensitive to digitonin, as they were in microsomes. The influence of digitonin on equilibrium densities was correlated with its morphological effects. Digitonin induced pseudofenestrations in plasma membranes. In Golgi and outer mitochondrial membrane preparations, a few similarly altered membranes were detected in subfractions enriched with 5'-nucleotidase and alkaline phosphodiesterase I. The alterations of Golgi membranes were less obvious and seemingly restricted to some elements in the Golgi preparation. No morphological modification was detected in digitonin-treated outer mitochondrial membranes. These results indicate that each enzyme is associated with the same membrane entity in all membrane preparations and support the view that there is little overlap in the enzymatic equipment of the various types of cytomembranes.

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