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Biosystems. 1993;29(2-3):151-60.

Cytoskeleton in the archaebacterium Thermoplasma acidophilum? Viscosity increase in soluble extracts.

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  • 1Biology Department, University of Massachusetts, Amherst.


Thermoplasma acidophilum has no cell wall, and so its irregular shape implies the presence of a cytoskeleton. When soluble extracts of T. acidophilum were incubated in vitro they increased in viscosity, suggestive of a polymerizable component. Optimal conditions for the viscosity increase coincided with physiological ionic concentrations. Electron micrographs of negatively stained extracts showed a meshlike lattice of elements 10 nm in diameter similar to nuclear lamins. However, immunologically there was no cross-reaction with lamins nor with the other eukaryotic cytoskeletal proteins tested: tubulin, calmodulin, giardin, actin or myosin.

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