Life and Medical Sciences
Cell & Developmental Biology
Wiley InterScience Backfile Collection 1832-2000
As an alternative to swimming through liquid medium by the coordinated bending activity of its two flagella, Chlamydomonas can exhibit whole cell gliding motility through the interaction of its flagellar surfaces with a solid substrate. The force transduction occurring at the flagellar surface can be visualized as the saltatory movements of polystyrene microspheres. Collectively, gliding motility and polystyrene microsphere movements are referred to as flagellar surface motility. The principal concanavalin A binding, surface-exposed glycoproteins of the Chlamydomonas reinhardtii flagellar surface are a pair of glycoproteins migrating with apparent molecular weight of 350 kDa. It has been hypothesized that these glycoproteins move within the plane of the flagellar membrane during the expression of flagellar surface motility. A novel mutant cell line of Chlamydomonas (designated L-23) that exhibits increased binding of concanavalin A to the flagellar surface has been utilized in order to restrict the mobility of the concanavalin A-binding flagellar glycoproteins. Under all conditions where the lateral mobility of the flagellar concanavalin A binding glycoproteins is restricted, the cells are unable to express whole cell gliding motility or polystyrene microsphere movements. Conversely, whenever cells can redistribute their concanavalin A binding glycoproteins in the plane of the flagellar membrane, they express flagellar surface motility. Since the 350 kDa glycoproteins are the major surface-exposed flagellar proteins, it is likely that most of the signal being followed using fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-concanavalin A is attributable to these high molecular weight glycoproteins. Therefore, it is likely that the 350 kDa glycoproteins are the ones that must move laterally in the plane of the flagellar membrane in order for the cell to express whole cell gliding motility and microsphere movements along the flagellar surface. This study represents one of the first demonstrations, in any cell type, that whole cell locomotion requires glycoprotein movement within the plane of the plasma membrane.
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