Factors influencing the accumulation of tetraphenylphosphonium cation in HeLa cells.


Exposure of HeLa cells to tetraphenylphosphonium cation (TPP+) results in a rapid accumulation intracellularly, and a steady-state level is reached within 10 min. Accumulation of [3H]TPP+ in HeLa cells is reduced under the following conditions: (i) after preincubation of cells in buffered saline or in medium containing two- to fourfold higher concentrations of amino acids, (ii) exposure to the alkylating agent L-1-tosylamido-2-phenyl-ethylchloromethyl ketone, (iii) ouabain-mediated inhibition of the Na+, K+ ATPase, and (iv) high external K+ concentrations. In contrast, addition of serum increases the uptake of TPP+. In synchronized cells, intracellular levels of TPP+ differ at various stages of cell cycle and are lowest in mitosis.

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