Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Cell Sci. 2001 Jun;114(Pt 11):2155-65.

Myosin II-dependent cylindrical protrusions induced by quinine in Dictyostelium: antagonizing effects of actin polymerization at the leading edge.

Author information

  • 1Department of Botany, Graduate School of Science, Kyoto University, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8502, Japan.


We found that amoeboid cells of Dictyostelium are induced by a millimolar concentration of quinine to form a rapidly elongating, cylindrical protrusion, which often led to sustained locomotion of the cells. Formation of the protrusion was initiated by fusion of a contractile vacuole with the cell membrane. During protrusion extension, a patch of the contractile vacuole membrane stayed undiffused on the leading edge of the protrusion for over 30 seconds. Protrusion formation was not inhibited by high osmolarity of the external medium (at least up to 400 mosM). By contrast, mutant cells lacking myosin II (mhc(-) cells) failed to extend protrusions upon exposure to quinine. When GFP-myosin-expressing cells were exposed to quinine, GFP-myosin was accumulated in the cell periphery forming a layer under the cell membrane, but a newly formed protrusion was initially devoid of a GFP-myosin layer, which gradually formed and extended from the base of the protrusion. F-actin was absent in the leading front of the protrusion during the period of its rapid elongation, and the formation of a layer of F-actin in the front was closely correlated with its slowing-down or retraction. Periodical or continuous detachment of the F-actin layer from the apical membrane of the protrusion, accompanied by a transient increase in the elongation speed at the site of detachment, was observed in some of the protrusions. The detached F-actin layers, which formed a spiral layer of F-actin in the case of continuous detachment, moved in the opposite direction of protrusion elongation. In the presence of both cytochalasin A and quinine, the protrusions formed were not cylindrical but spherical, which swallowed up the entire cellular contents. The estimated bulk flux into the expanding spherical protrusions of such cells was four-times higher than the flux into the elongating cylindrical protrusions of the cells treated with quinine alone. These results indicate that the force responsible for the quinine-induced protrusion is mainly due to contraction of the cell body, which requires normal myosin II functions, while actin polymerization is important in restricting the direction of its expansion. We will discuss the possible significance of tail contraction in cell movement in the multicellular phase of Dictyostelium development, where cell locomotion similar to that induced by quinine is often observed without quinine treatment, and in protrusion elongation in general. Movies available on-line

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

LinkOut - more resources

Full Text Sources

Other Literature Sources

Molecular Biology Databases

PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk