A method is described for the rapid and efficient isolation of phagocytic vesicles from large scale cultures of Acanthamoeba castellanii (Neff) that have been incubated with polystyrene latex beads. Cells were allowed to phagocytose latex beads for 30 min and then were homogenized, and the phagocytic vesicles were isolated by one centrifugation through several layers of sucrose. Identity and purity of the phagocytic vesicles were determined by electron microscopy, chemical analyses, and assays of acid phosphatase, α- and ß-glucosidase, and reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide dehydrogenase. When phagocytosis was allowed to occur for longer periods the phagocytic vesicles appeared to fuse with each other and perhaps with digestive vacuoles. The resultant vesicles which contained many beads were heavier than those which consisted of only one bead or a few beads with a closely applied membrane. Ultrasonication ruptured the isolated vesicles, and the membranes could then be isolated in 30–50% yield based on phospholipid analysis. These membranes were essentially free of acid hydrolases and, presumably, other soluble proteins, as was also indicated by their low ratio of protein to phospholipid. The membranes have been prepared both as closed vesicles and as open sheets.

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