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Name: Thota
Status: Other
Grade:  Other
Location: N/A
Country: United States
Date: May 2005

What is the pH of cell nucleus and cytoplasm? I know it will vary in membrane bound cell organelles. But, Is there any number,approximately?

Dear Thota:

The online textbook, Molecular Biology of the Cell @ NCBI has a great section describing how "Carrier Proteins in the Plasma Membrane Regulate Cytosolic pH" ( ).

It's apparently ≈ 7.2 in most resting cells, but it certainly varies w/ cellular metabolic functions, particularly exercise. I wouldn't think that the nucleus would differ significantly from the cytoplasm overall, but are almost certainly pH microenvironments in both the cytoplasm & nucleoplasm. I ran across a study in which nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) was used to measure the decrease in intracellular pH resulting from muscle contraction under anaerobic conditions, so there are many new, high-tech methods for investigating cell biology that could be applied to answer this more thoroughly, if you're interested in a research project.

Thanks for the great question,

Jeff Buzby, Ph.D.
CHOC Research Institute
Div. of Educational Programs
Argonne National Laboratory

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