Several species-specific molecular forms of acid phosphatase are known to exist in the unicellular green alga Acetabularia. In graft combinations between cells of Acetabularia mediterranea (med) and Acicularia Schenckii (acic) the expression of the med phosphatase is dominant over acic phosphatase. There is good evidence that in such grafts the preexisting acic phosphatase is converted on the molecular level via an intermediate form to the med phosphatase. This conversion can be initiated by the transplantation of a med cell nucleus to an anucleate acic cell, but will also take place in grafts between anucleate med and anucleate acic cells, indicating that the direct participation of a cell nucleus is not required. An incomplete conversion of acic phosphatase, which terminates at the intermediate stage, is induced in acic cells by injection of a concentrated homogenate of med cytoplasm. A similar partial conversion occurs in vitro in a mixture of homogenates from med and acic cells. Subcellular particles, such as chloroplasts or mitochondria, can be removed from the homogenates by centrifugation without impairing the reactions leading to the intermediate phosphatase type. Experimental evidence suggests that the transformation of phosphatase types is enzymatically catalyzed and may involve the conjugation of small molecules with the phosphatase protein. It was shown, however, that sialic acid is not involved, since the incubation of med or acic homogenates with neuraminidase did not modify the electrophoretic mobility of either enzyme type. Another type of phosphatase, which occurs in Acetabularia erenulata (cren) and can be distinguished electrophoretically from the aforementioned types, is not subject to interaction. In various mono- and multi-nucleate graft combinations between cren cells on one hand, and med or acic cells on the other hand, the cren phosphatase is synthesized independently of the enzyme of the graft partner.

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