The distribution of actin and myosin in Dictyostelium amebae at different developmental stages was studied by improved immunofluorescence ("agar-overlay" technique). Both were localized at the cortical region of amebae in all early developmental stages. In amebae with polarized morphology, bright fluorescence with antiactin was seen in the anterior pseudopode. The cortex in the posterior end was also stained with antiactin. On the other hand, very specific crescent-shaped staining with antimyosin was seen at the posterior cortex. In cells in contact with each other, actin was concentrated at the contact region, whereas myosin was localized specifically in the cortex on the other side of the contact region. At the aggregation stage, when monopodial amebae migrate forming streams, actin staining was seen all around the cell periphery, with intense fluorescence in the anterior pseudopode. On the other hand, specific staining of myosin was seen only at the posterior cortex. The cleavage furrow of cells performing cytokinesis displayed distinct myosin staining, and this staining represented the filamentous structure aligned in parallel to the axis of constriction. These findings indicate that myosin staining reflects the portion of the cell cortex where contraction occurs and the motive force of ameboid movement is generated at the posterior cortex of a migrating cell.

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