Muscle fibers from the giant barnacle, Balanus nubilus, were placed inside the lumen of a porous glass capillary and equilibrated for 48 h in an electrolyte solution containing 2% Tween. The glass capillary prevented the chemically "skinned" fiber from swelling with a water content beyond 80%. Isotope exchange studies using 22Na, 42K, and 36Cl indicated the existence of an intermediate rate constant and compartment which varied with pH. This intermediate rate was attributed to counter-ions and co-ions in the myofilament phase. Analysis of the electrolyte composition of the fiber at pH 8 predicts that the myofilaments contain about 0.3 of the fiber water, and that a -15 mV Donnan potential exists at the myofilament surface. An open-tipped (1-micrometer) microelectrode in the skinned fiber measured a potential (similar in magnitude to the Donnan potential), which decreased and reversed sign as the pH was lowered. The measured cation contents of the fiber between pH 5 and 8 were found to be similar to the cation contents predicted from the measured Donnan potentials. The net negative charge of the myofilaments at pH 7.5 and at ionic strength 0.56 is estimated to be 41 eq per 10(5) g of dry weight.

This content is only available as a PDF.