Immunoglobulin from goat antiserum directed against purified surface membranes from transformed BHK21/C13 cells (anti-M) has been shown to cause both control and transformed hamster cells to round and detach from the substrate (see accompanying paper). This paper documents the effects of the antiserum on the cytoskeletal organization and cell surface morphology of control BHK21/C13 cells examined by scanning and transmission electron microscopy. As a result of antiserum-induced rounding, the normally smooth cell surface becomes covered with filopodia and blebs, and the organization of all three components of the filamentous cytoskeleton is altered. In terms of cell surface morphology and cytoskeletal organization, the cells resemble rounded, postmitotic or trypsinized BHK cells rather than cells treated with either anticytoskeletal drugs or lectins. Immunocytochemical and radioimmune assay experiments support the suggestion that the rounding reaction induced by anti-M serum results from the specific interaction of antibodies with molecules on the cell surface. It is suggested that anti-M serum induces alterations in cytoskeletal organization via a transmembrane signal and that cytoskeletal reorganization is a fundamental part of the rounding and detachment process.

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