Motive force generation
Light and electron microscopy
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary The mechanism of induced pinocytosis was investigated in Amoeba proteus by light and electron microscopy. The application of nine different inducing substances revealed that pinocytotic channel formation, elongation, vesiculation, shortening and disappearance are the result of the successive or simultaneous action of both traction and pressure forces, which are produced by the contractile activity of a plasma membrane-associated layer of filaments ranging from a few hundred nm to several μ in thickness. The initial phase of channel formation is caused by traction forces according to the membrane flow concept, whereas channel elongation and vesiculation mainly result from pressure forces in conjunction with the extrusion of small hyaline pseudopodia. Shortening and disappearance of the pinocytotic channels are brought about by local contractions of the cortical filament layer in the basal region of the hyaline pseudopodia. Experiments using latex beads as marker particles together with inducing substances show that a rapid membrane turnover during pinocytosis can be excluded, and that the plasma membrane slides as an entire structure over the underlying cytoplasm.
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