Calcium retained at binding sites of the sarcoplasmic reticulum membranes isolated from rabbit skeletal muscle requires 10-5 - 10-4 M ATP to exchange with 45Ca added to the medium. The ATP requirement for Ca exchangeability was observed with respect to the "intrinsic" Ca of the reticulum membranes and the fraction of Ca that is "actively" bound in the presence of ATP. Furthermore, a concentration of free Ca in the medium higher than 10-8 M is required for ATP to promote Ca exchangeability. This exchangeability is not influenced by caffeine, quinine, procaine, and tetracaine, and Ca that is either nonexchangeable (in the absence of ATP) or exchangeable (in the presence of ATP) is released by 1–5 mM quinine or tetracaine, but neither caffeine (6 mM) nor procaine (2–5 mM) has this effect. Quinine or tetracaine also releases Ca and Mg bound passively to the reticulum membranes. A possible role of ATP in maintaining the integrity of cellular membranes is discussed, and the effects of caffeine, quinine, and of local anesthetics on the binding of Ca by the isolated reticulum are related to the effects of these agents on 45Ca fluxes and on the twitch output observed in whole muscles.

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