The involvement of mucopolysaccharide synthesis in cell locomotion was investigated by determining the effects of inhibition of synthesis on ruffling membrane activity and cell movement by embryonic heart fibroblasts. Mucopolysaccharide synthesis was inhibited directly by treatment with a glutamine analog, 6-diazo-5-OXO-L-norleucine (DON), and indirectly with cycloheximide. DON treatment reduced synthesis to 20% of control values, and cycloheximide reduced synthesis to less than 10% of control values, as measured by incorporation of [35S]sulfate into mucopolysaccharides. Nevertheless, ruffling membrane activity and cell locomotion continued under both conditions. Cytochalasin B did not inhibit mucopolysaccharide synthesis, although it did stop ruffling and locomotion. These results suggest that if mucopolysaccharides are required for cell movement, they must have long half-lives or represent only a minute fraction of the normal synthetic load.

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