In the present study we examine the effects of the drug hadacidin (N-formyl-N- hydroxyglycine) on pinocytosis in the eukaryotic microorganism dictyostelium discoideum. At concentrations of up to approximately 8 mg/ml, hadacidin inhibited the rate of pinocytosis of fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC) dextran in cells in growth medium in a concentration-dependent manner but had no effect on cells in starvation medium.
Because hadacidin also inhibits cellular proliferation at this concentration, the relationship between growth rate and pinocytosis was studied further using another drug, cerulenin, to produce growth-arrest. These experiments showed no changes in the rate pinocytosis even after complete cessation of cellular proliferation.
Other studies showed that the transfer of cells from growth to starvation medium reduced the rate of pinocytosis by approximately 50 percent. A reduction of similar magnitude occurred if cells were transferred from growth to starvation medium containing hadacidin. Also, no additional reduction in pinocytosis occurred when cells that had been treated with hadacidin were transferred to starvation medium containing hadacidin. These cells were able to take up [(14)C]hadacidin in the starvation medium.
In contrast to the results with hadacidin-treated cells, cells in a cerulenin-induced state of growth-arrest when transferred to starvation medium exhibited the same 50 percent reduction in pinocytosis observed in cells not previously exposed to either drug. Cells treated with azide, in either growth or starvation medium, exhibited an immediate inhibition of all pinocytotic activity.
After the transfer of log-phase cells to starvation medium supplemented with glucose, the reduction in rate was only approximately 10-15 percent. In contrast, a 50 percent reduction was observed after supplementation of starvation medium with sucrose, KCl, or concanavalin A. Maintaining the cells in growth medium containing hadacidin for as long as 16 h had no effect on the rate at which cells aggregated.
These results are consistent with the conclusion that D. discoideum exhibits two types of pinocytotic activity: one that is nutrient dependent and the other independent of nutrients. This latter activity persists in starvation medium and is unaffected by hadacidin, whereas the nutrient-dependent activity is present in growth medium and is inhibited by hadacidin.