The relationship between Ca++ and pinocytosis was investigated in Amoeba proteus. Pinocytosis was induced with 0.01% alcian blue, a large molecular weight dye which binds irreversibly to the cell surface. The time-course and intensity of pinocytosis was monitored by following the uptake of [3H]SUCROSE. When the cells are exposed to 0.01% alcian blue, there is an immediate uptake of sucrose. The cells take up integral of 10% of their initial volume during the time-course of pinocytosis. The duration of pinocytosis in the amoeba is integral of 50 min, with maximum sucrose uptake occurring 15 min after the induction of pinocytosis. The pinocytotic uptake of sucrose is reversibly blocked at 3 degrees C and a decrease in pH increases the uptake of sucrose by pinocytosis. The process of pinocytosis is also dependent upon the concentration of the inducer in the external medium. The association between Ca++ and pinocytosis in A. proteus was investigated initially by determining the effect of the external Ca++ concentration on sucrose uptake induced by alcian blue. In Ca++-free medium, no sucrose uptake is observed in the presence of 0.01% alcian blue. As the Ca++ concentration is increased, up to a maximum of 0.1 mM, pinocytotic sucrose uptake is also increased. Increases in the external Ca++ concentration above 0.1 mM brings about a decrease in sucrose uptake. Further investigations into the association between Ca++ and pinocytosis demonstrated that the inducer of pinocytosis displaces surface calcium in the amoeba. It is suggested that Ca++ is involved in two separate stages in the process of pinocytosis; an initial displacement of surface calcium by the inducer which may increase the permeability of the membrane to solutes and a subsequent Ca++ influx bringing about localized increases in cytoplasmic Ca++ ion activity.

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