The membranes of Acanthamoeba palestinensis were studied by examination in fixed cells, and then by following the movements of glycerol-3H-labeled phospholipids by cell fractionation. Two previously undescribed structures were observed: collapsed cytoplasmic vesicles of cup shape, and plaques in food vacuole and plasma membrane similar in size to the collapsed vesicles. It appeared that the plaques formed by insertion of collapsed vesicles into membranes and/or that collapsed vesicles formed by pinching off of plaques. Fractions were isolated, enriched with nuclei, rough endoplasmic reticulum (RER), plasma membrane, Golgi-like membranes, and collapsed vesicles. The changes in specific activity of glycerol-3H-labeled phospholipids in these membranes during incorporation, turnover, and after pulse-labeling indicated an ordered sequence of appearances of newly synthesized phospholipids, first in nuclei and RER, then successively in Golgi membranes, collapsed vesicles, and finally, plasma membrane. In previous work we had found no large nonmembranous phospholipid pool in A. palestinensis. These observations are consistent with the hypothesis that membrane phospholipids are synthesized, perhaps as integral parts of membranes, in RER and nuclei. Subsequently, some of the newly synthesized phospholipids are transported to the Golgi complex to become integrated into the membranes of collapsed vesicles, which are precursors of the plasma membrane. Collapsed vesicles from the plasma membrane by inserting into it as plaques. When portions of the plasmalemma from food vacuoles, collapsed vesicles pinch off from their membranes and are recycled back to the cell surface.

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