Digitonin and its activity

Jayakumar R jakku71 at yahoo.com
Thu Apr 4 17:19:09 EST 2002

   I use Digitonin a lot for my mitochondrial fractionation procedures.  I
use it to study localization of proteins in mitochondrial compartments.
Proteins from different compartments of the mitochondria become selectively
released on an increasing gradient of digitonin of around 0.1% to 0.3%.
Even though I know that digitonin permeabilizes membranes, forms pores etc.
I am not able to understand how exactly Digitonin accomplishes this.
    Does Digitonin completely shear and break up the outer membrane of the
mitochondria or does it preserve the essential structure of the mitochondria
and just permeabilises the membrane without breaking it up?  Or does this
break up happen only at high levels of digitonin.
    Can anyone advice me  on this.  I need to understand the exact activity
of digitonin before formulating a protocol.  Any references also would be
very helpful.  
    By the way, please do not suggest Google?  I have been going through it
for the past several hours and did not come up with anything useful.
   Any help will be appreciated.

Jayakumar R. nair
Dr. John J. McGuire's lab
Grace Cancer Drug Centre
Roswell Park Cancer Institute
Elm and Carlton St.
Buffalo, NY14263.
Tel: (716)-845-8918 (off)
     (716)-833-0704 (Res)
Email: jakku71 at yahoo.com

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