Cross-linking of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii flagellar membrane glycoproteins results in the directed movements of these glycoproteins within the plane of the flagellar membrane. Three carbohydrate-binding reagents (FMG-1 monoclonal antibody, FMG-3 monoclonal antibody, concanvalin A) that induce flagellar membrane glycoprotein crosslinking and redistribution also induce the specific dephosphorylation of a 60-kD (pI 4.8-5.0) flagellar phosphoprotein (pp60) that is phosphorylated in vivo on serine. Ethanol treatment of live cells induces a similar specific dephosphorylation of pp60. Affinity adsorption of flagellar 32P-labeled membrane-matrix extracts with the FMG-1 monoclonal antibody and concanavalin A demonstrates that pp60 binds to the 350-kD class of flagellar membrane glycoproteins recognized by the FMG-1 monoclonal antibody. In vitro, protein phosphatase 2B (calcineurin) removes 60% of the 32P from pp60; this correlates well with previous observations that directed flagellar glycoprotein movements are dependent on micromolar calcium in the medium and are inhibited by calcium channel blockers and calmodulin antagonists. The data reported here are consistent with the dephosphorylation of pp60 being a step in the signaling pathway that couples flagellar membrane glycoprotein cross-linking to the directed movements of flagellar membrane glycoproteins.

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