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Cell Motil Cytoskeleton. 1999;42(2):114-24.

Microtubules, but not actin microfilaments, regulate vacuole motility and morphology in hyphae of Pisolithus tinctorius.

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School of Biological Science, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.


While it is now recognised that transport within the endomembrane system may occur via membranous tubules, spatial regulation of this process is poorly understood. We have investigated the role of the cytoskeleton in regulating the motility and morphology of the motile vacuole system in hyphae of the fungus Pisolithus tinctorius by studying (1) the effects of anti-microtubule (oryzalin, nocodazole) and anti-actin drugs (cytochalasins, latrunculin) on vacuolar activity, monitored by fluorescence microscopy of living cells; and (2) the ultrastructural relationship of microtubules, actin microfilaments, and vacuoles in hyphae prepared by rapid-freezing and freeze-substitution. Anti-microtubule drugs reduced the tubular component of the vacuole system in a dose-dependent and reversible manner, the extent of which correlated strongly with the degree of disruption of the microtubule network (monitored by immunofluorescence microscopy). The highest doses of anti-microtubule drugs completely eliminated tubular vacuoles, and only spherical vacuoles were observed. In contrast, anti-actin drugs did not reduce the frequency of tubular vacuoles or the motility of these vacuoles, even though immunofluorescence microscopy confirmed perturbation of microfilament organisation. Electron microscopy showed that vacuoles were always accompanied by microtubules. Bundles of microtubules were found running in parallel along the length of tubular vacuoles and individual microtubules were often within one microtubule diameter of a vacuole membrane. Our results strongly support a role for microtubules, but not actin microfilaments, in the spatial regulation of vacuole motility and morphology in fungal hyphae.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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