Amebas of Dictyostelium discoideum contain both microfilaments and microtubules. Microfilaments, found primarily in a cortical filament network, aggregate into bundles when glycerinated cells contract in response to Mg-ATP. These cortical filaments bind heavy meromyosin. Microtubules are sparse in amebas before aggregation. Colchicine, griseofulvin, or cold treatments do not affect cell motility or cell shape. Saltatory movement of cytoplasmic particles is inhibited by these treatments and the particles subsequently accumulate in the posterior of the cell. Cell motility rate changes as Dicytostelium amebas go through different stages of the life cycle. Quantitation of cellular actin by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis shows that the quantity of cellular actin changes during the life cycle. These changes in actin are directly correlated with changes in motility rate. Addition of cyclic AMP to Dictyostelium cultures at the end of the feeding stage prevents a decline in motility rate during the preaggregation stage. Cyclic AMP also modifies the change in actin content of the cells during preaggregation.

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