The proposal made in the preceding paper that the species-specific shape of Ochromonas is mediated by cytoplasmic microtubules which are related to two nucleating sites has been experimentally verified. Exposure of cells to colchicine or hydrostatic pressure causes microtubule disassembly and a correlative loss of cell shape in a posterior to anterior direction. Upon removal of colchicine or release of pressure, cell shape regenerates and microtubules reappear, first in association with the kineto-beak site concomitant with regeneration of the anterior asymmetry, and later at the rhizoplast site concomitant with formation of the posterior tail. It is concluded that two separate sets of cytoplasmic tubules function in formation and maintenance of specific portions of the total cell shape. On the basis of the following observations, we further suggest that the beak and rhizoplast sites could exert control over the position and timing of the appearance, the orientation, and the pattern of microtubule distribution in Ochromonas. (a) the two sites are accurately positioned in the cell relative to other cell organelles; (b) in regenerating cells microtubules reform first at these sites and appear to elongate to the cell posterior; (c) microtubules initially reappear in the orientation characteristic of the fully differentiated cell; (d) the two sets of tubules are polymerized at different times, in the same sequence, during reassembly or resynthesis of the microtubular system. Experiments using cycloheximide, after a treatment with colchicine, have demonstrated that Ochromonas cannot reassume its normal shape without new protein synthesis. This suggests that microtubule protein once exposed to colchicine cannot be reassembled into microtubules. Pressure-treated cells, on the other hand, reassemble tubules and regenerate the normal shape in the presence or absence of cycloheximide. The use of these two agents in analyzing nucleating site function and the independent processes of synthesis and assembly of microtubules is discussed.
MICROTUBULE BIOGENESIS AND CELL SHAPE IN OCHROMONAS : II. The Role of Nucleating Sites in Shape Development
- Views Icon Views
- PDF LinkPDF
- Share Icon Share
- Search Site
David L. Brown, G. Benjamin Bouck; MICROTUBULE BIOGENESIS AND CELL SHAPE IN OCHROMONAS : II. The Role of Nucleating Sites in Shape Development . J Cell Biol 1 February 1973; 56 (2): 360–378. doi: https://doi.org/10.1083/jcb.56.2.360
Download citation file: