Effect of intracellular magnesium on calcium extrusion by the plasma membrane calcium pump of intact human red cells

J. E. Raftos*, V. L. Lew

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


1. The effect of varying the concentration of intracellular magnesium on the Ca(2+)‐saturated Ca(2+)‐extrusion rate through the Ca2+ pump (phi max) was investigated in human red blood cells with the aid of the divalent cation ionophore A23187. The aim was to characterize the [Mg2+]i dependence of the Ca2+ pump in the intact cell. 2. The initial experimental protocol consisted of applying a high ionophore concentration to obtain rapid sequential Mg2+ and [45Ca]CaCl2 equilibration, prior to measuring phi max at constant internal [MgT]i by either the Co2+ block method or by ionophore removal. With this protocol, competition between Ca2+ and Mg2+ through the ionophore prevented Ca2+ equilibration at high [Mg2+]o. To provide rapid and comparable Ca2+ loads and maintain intracellular ATP within normal levels it was necessary to separate the Mg2+ and the Ca2+ loading‐extrusion stages by an intermediate ionophore and external Mg2+ removal step, and to use different metabolic substrates during Mg2+ loading (glucose) and Ca2+ loading‐extrusion (inosine) periods. 3. Intracellular Co2+ was found to sustain Ca2+ extrusion by the pump at subphysiological [Mg2+]i. Ionophore removal was therefore used to estimate the [Mg2+]i dependence of the pump at levels below [MgT]i (approximately 2 mmol (340 g Hb)‐1), whereas both ionophore removal and Co2+ block were used for higher [MgT]i levels. 4. [Mg2+]i was computed from measured [MgT]i using known cytoplasmic Mg(2+)‐buffering data. The phi max of the Ca2+ pump increased hyperbolically with [Mg2+]i. The Michaelis parameter (K 1/2) of activation was 0.12 +/‐ 0.04 mmol (1 cell water)‐1 (mean +/‐ S.E.M.). Increasing [MgT]i and [Mg2+]i to 9 mmol (340 g Hb)‐1 and 2.6 mmol (1 cell water)‐1, respectively, failed to cause significant inhibition of the phi max of the Ca2+ pump. 5. The results suggest that within the physiological and pathophysiological range of [Mg2+]i, from 0.3 mmol (1 cell water)‐1 in the oxygenated state to 1.2 mmol (1 cell water)‐1 in the deoxygenated state, the Ca(2+)‐saturated Ca2+ pump remains unaffected by [Mg2+]i at normal ATP levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-72
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Physiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 1995
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Effect of intracellular magnesium on calcium extrusion by the plasma membrane calcium pump of intact human red cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this