Cyanidium caldarium RK-1
Indirect immunofluorescence microscopy
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary In the primitive red algaCyanidium caldarium RK-1, cytokinesis is controlled by a simple contractile ring, as in animal cells. To clarify the mechanism of formation of the contractile ring, we isolated actin genes and performed an immunocytological study.C. caldarium RK-1 has two actin genes encoding proteins with the same sequence of 377 amino acids. The primary structure indicated that the actin molecules ofC. caldarium RK-1 are typical, despite the fact that the organism is considered to be phylogenetically primitive. We prepared antiserum against aC. caldarium RK-1 actin fusion protein and indirect immunofluorescence staining was performed. In interphase cells, many actin dots were observed in the cytoplasm but none at the future cleavage plane. Prior to cytokinesis, some of these dots appeared and became aligned along the equatorial plane. At the same time, a thin “immature” contractile ring was observed to appear to be formed by connection of the aligned actin dots. This immature contractile ring thickened to nearly its maximum size by the time cytokinesis began. The formation of the contractile ring seemed to be a result of de novo assembly of actin monomers, rather than a result of the accumulation and bundling of pre-existing actin filaments. During the constriction of the contractile ring, no actin dots were observed in the cytoplasm. These observations suggest that actin dots are responsible for the formation of the contractile ring, but are not necessary for its disintegration. Furthermore, immunogold localization specific for actin revealed at electron microscopy level that fine filaments running just beneath the cleavage furrow are, in fact, actin filaments.
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