A comparison is made of the ultrastructure of the cell periphery in three cloned cell lines: untransformed Balb/c 3T3 cells, SV40-transformed Balb/c 3T3 cells, and revertant cells obtained from the transformed cell line by a selection technique utilizing concanavalin A. Both thin-section and surface replication techniques are used for in situ examination of the cell lines. Microfilaments, 70 Å in diameter (called alpha filaments), are abundant in untransformed and revertant cell lines, particularly in the anterior expansions of the cells, which tend to have many microvilli and small pseudopodia. Alpha filaments are diminished in the anterior expansions of transformed cells, which contain large blunt pseudopodia and relatively few microvilli. Surface replicas confirm the impression gained from thin sections that transformed cells have a greater proportion of their cell surface involved in bulging pseudopodia than either untransformed or revertant cells. Since alpha filaments are shown to bind heavy meromyosin and are similar to F-actin, these filaments are thought to be important in cell motility. These observations suggest that a close relationship exists between decreased alpha filaments, bulging pseudopodia, and loss of contact inhibition of movement in transformed cells.

This content is only available as a PDF.